Many workers throughout the US are transitioning to working remotely due to COVID-19. Thankfully, technology has allowed many of us the ability to continue working from home. However, there are other aspects of remote working that can make it difficult. Especially now that many children are home from school as well. So, what can you do to boost your productivity at home? Here are a few tips that will help working from home feel almost like working in the office.
1. Set Up a Workstation Away From Distractions
One of the challenges of working from home is the many distractions. You might have kids home from school, a spouse working from home, food and snacks at your fingertips — it’s all there. So, what can you do to help stay focused and productive?
One way to combat these distractions is to set up a workstation. Choose a space away from distractions. Try to set up a desk and make it look and feel as much like your office as possible. This will help you get into the right mindset every day when you are working.
It may be easy to use your laptop and work from your bed or couch. However, by setting up a workstation, you can give yourself a quiet, professional space to work without distractions.
2. Set Your Working Hours
When you’re working remotely, you have more flexibility than going into the office from 9-5 every day. And this flexibility can be extremely advantageous for workers, especially those who have children at home right now and need to alternate working hours with a spouse. If you need to take some time in the morning to help your kids with online schooling, you can work from 11-7. This freedom is one of the many benefits of working remotely.
We recommend you figure out what schedule will work for you and stick to it. This will keep you productive as well as from overworking. It can be easy to start working at nine and continue working past five when you are at home all day. But to keep your work/life balance in check, know each and every day what hours you will dedicate to working and when you will “get off.” And don’t forget to communicate these hours with your coworkers.
3. Continue Your Normal Morning Routine
When we go into an office every day, it forces us to have a morning routine. We get up at a certain time, change out of our pajamas, and get ready for the day. When you work from home, it can be extremely easy to just roll out of bed and stay in your pajamas the whole day. But doing this might kill your productivity.
Just like setting up your workstation, keeping your normal routine and changing into normal clothes will help put you in the mental space to work and be productive. Try to keep everything as close to normal as possible.
4. Check-In With Coworkers
Working from home can feel isolating and might seem to extinguish collaboration. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can still keep up the relationships you built at the office, even without being in the same space.
To do this, we recommend checking in with your coworkers or team at least once a week. And if you have the technology to video-conference, even better. Use this time to brainstorm for projects you are all working on, note successes, and even take a few minutes just to shoot the breeze.
This type of check-in can keep employees feeling motivated, connected, and productive. It’s also a great way to maintain a strong culture while we’re all figuring out this remote working situation.
5. Use Collaboration Tools
There are so many tools at our fingertips that make working from home that much easier. And many companies are even offering free trials during this time. Take advantage of these tools. They can be extremely useful during this time.
A few great collaboration tools that will support remote work include Microsoft Teams, Asana, and Zoom. There are many others out there, so find what works for your organization and use it frequently. Overcommunication is much better than not enough communication in a work-from-home scenario.
6. Follow Company Security Policies
Working from home can present all kinds of security problems for organizations. This is especially true if your company has implemented a BYOD policy, meaning you’ll be using your personal device for work. So, it’s critical that you follow any and all security measures put in place by your organization.
That might mean using a virtual desktop, connecting through a VPN, or other security policies. Whatever it may be, just ensure that you aren’t disregarding security.
7. Check Your Connectivity
One thing that’s easy to take for granted in an office is the connectivity. It’s set up to withstand multiple users and reduce downtime and latency. However, your home connection might not be as solid. And if you have others at your home who are connecting at the same time as you, it can greatly impact speed and latency.
So, check with your internet provider and see if there are ways you can improve your connection. You might also need to set ground rules for internet use with others in your home.
Working from home can offer a lot of flexibility, and it’s definitely possible to be as productive and efficient as you are in the office. It’s up to you to ensure you can focus and work like you normally would. Try these tips out and see how they affect your work-from-home routine. You might be surprised at how they can change your mindset and make remote working easier and more enjoyable.