The COVID-19 crisis is a constantly changing situation, and many employees are now working remotely for the foreseeable future. While working from home definitely has its perks, it comes with a unique set of challenges, compounded by the uncertainty of COVID-19.
We believe that this is an opportunity to strengthen our soft skills and resolve. Those who weather the storm will come out the other side stronger than ever. Here are 8 tips (from WebMechanix team members) to help you maximize productivity while working from home.
- Have a dedicated area to work- When working from home full-time, have a place where you can work and focus. Try to work from a desk or table. Sitting on a couch or in your bed frequently, while comfortable, can wreak havoc on your posture. You’ll feel the consequences rather quickly. A dedicated room is the best place to work, especially if you often take phone calls. Make sure you have a comfortable chair with good back support. Open the curtains to get some natural light in the room.
- Stick to your regular morning routine – No commute often means you have extra time to “sleep in,” but try not to roll out of bed and hop directly into a meeting while you’re still groggy. Use your pre-9am time to go through your normal morning routine and get yourself in the right mindset to crush your day!
- Keep your space clean – “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.” So the saying goes, but that mentality should extend to the rest of your living space and office. Simple things, like keeping the kitchen and work area tidy, will help.
- Don’t overwork yourself – It’s easy to work when you’re always at your office, which is both a good and bad thing. You can easily work yourself too hard, so make sure you set times when you don’t work or look at a screen at all. Try to avoid working on weekends. Last, log your time whenever you’re working, even if it’s after hours.
- Don’t worry if you feel out of the loop, that’s natural – Once you work from home, you’ll be surprised how much time you save from conversations in an office environment. Sometimes not being able to join those conversations is a good thing since it removes distraction. Communicate with your coworkers in group chats like to stay up-to-date. This can make you feel part of a team, even when you’re not in the office. Get used to asking, “Can we hop on a screenshare quickly?” when you’d typically pop by someone’s desk.
- Make yourself available, but not too available – Between Slack and Google Hangouts, it’s easy to feel like you’re still in the office. Try to keep dedicated focus times throughout the day. For important conversations, speak over a Google Hangout and record the meeting.
- Exercise and get out of the house – When you work from home, you’ll hardly get out of the house. Find tasks to do around the house that won’t disrupt your day. Let your dog out, walk around the house, and go for a short walk or run around your neighborhood. Going to the gym may not be possible during quarantine, but try to find time for exercise, which is good for both your physical and mental health. If it’s nice, eating lunch outside is another way you can feel refreshed during the day.
- For managers, stay in touch with your team and monitor their workload – Your employees will appreciate that you’re looking out for them and checking in. Most importantly, you’ll be able to check on your team to see how they’re feeling.
Remember, working from home is an advantage for your business, so treat it as such. Not every industry or company has the luxury to work remotely. Embrace the competitive advantage your company has by being your best and most productive self.
Lastly, stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands!