Remote work already was gaining popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic made it a reality for millions of traditional office workers. With authorities still requiring individuals to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of the virus, many companies had no choice but to send workers home.
It’s a challenging situation for many. How can you get your job done in a distracting household? Will you ever be productive again?
The truth, working from home, is beneficial. Check out these stats from a 2019 Airtasker survey. The survey found that, on average, remote workers put in more days and worthwhile time than in-office employees.
We have the tips you need to make your remote office a successful space so you can tap into the productive side of working from home.
Staying on Task with a Schedule
Source: Shutterstock <br/ > Author: Andrey_Popov.
It’s important to create a schedule and stick to it when working from home. Without a solid routine, it’s hard to get into a productive groove. The easiest way to do this is to replicate the schedule you had at the office.
Set working hours also make it easier for colleagues to know what you are up to and where they can find you. For other household members, this predictable routine helps keep your work time separate from home time.
Of course, you may need to adjust your hours or plans, especially in light of COVID-19 and its complications. Speak to your employer and colleagues about any changes to your routine as early on as possible.
Source: Shutterstock <br/ > Author: baranq.
Taking breaks is key to productivity, but something many at-home workers forget about. Much like you wouldn’t put in an eight-hour day sitting at your office desk, you should not do the same in your home office. Build breaks into your schedule, spacing them out throughout the day to ensure you spend some time away from your workspace.
Breaks are important physically and mentally. They give you a chance to move around and get time away from screens. At the same time, they give you a chance to think about something other than work and come back refreshed and ready to tackle your tasks.
Set Boundaries (But Be Reasonable)
Source: Shutterstock <br/ > Author: Santirat Praeknokkaew.
Household distractions are one of the hardest parts of staying productive while working from home. It’s rare if you don’t have kids, partners or pets interrupting your workflow.
Having a separate workspace is extremely valuable if you want to be productive. Being able to close a door is one of the simplest, but most effective, ways to shut out the rest of the world.
If you have kids around, it’s useful to help them understand what it means to work from home and how they can help you stay on task. Simple rules, such as knocking on the office door before entering or putting up a sign indicating when it’s okay to come in, can go a long way. Let your kids know when you will be able to talk, so they are assured that they are a part of your schedule too.
Noise-canceling headphones also work wonders to keep distractions—such as barking dogs, neighborhood noise, or kids’ play—at bay. At the same time, it’s equally important to know that some interruptions are almost inevitable, especially with the speed at which workplace changes have taken place. Control what you can. And take comfort knowing your colleagues and other workers around the world are likely dealing with distractions, too.
Source: Shutterstock <br/ > Author: Jack Frog.
Without the structure of an in-office environment, keeping track of what you need to accomplish each day, week and beyond is often easier said than done. An old-fashioned, to-do list works wonders to keep productive and organized. Write down what you need to do each day, plan out how you will do it, and cross off the items as you go.
Focusing on one task at a time can help to stay productive. Many are tempted to multitask in the home office, but a list keeps you on track.
Focus on Communication
At your corporate office, you communicated with many colleagues and managers, whether informally in the break room or formally during meetings. You can, and should, keep that focus on communication going when working from home as well. Increased communication should be part of your strategy.
There are many ways to stay in touch, whether by email, video conferencing, chat messages, or phone calls. There’s no need to be disconnected when working from home.
Ready to Start Working from Home?