If you're like many workers who have recently transitioned to a home office until the coronavirus crisis passes, you may be struggling to stay as productive as you once were. Sharing your space with family members, often while lacking the full amenities of an outside office (like printers, copiers, ergonomic keyboards, and dual-screen monitors) may sap productivity and increase stress. Fortunately, there are ways to use a home office to your advantage. Learn about a few ways you can remain productive while working from home.
Create A Daily Routine
When your commute to work no longer requires you to leave your house, it can often be easy to fall into bad habits—staying up too late, sleeping in, and rolling into work in your pajamas. Creating a daily routine can help you more easily delineate between work and home and provide you with the structure that helps you focus.
For example, you may wish to wake up at the same time you otherwise would, get dressed, and then spend your commute time engaging in an activity you enjoy (like birdwatching while savoring a cup of coffee). This can allow you to "show up" at work refreshed and ready to start the day.
Build in Breaks
Even the most diligent workers take occasional breaks, whether to go on a quick walk at lunch or stop by a coworker's cubicle to chat about an issue. Moving to a home office can mean missing out on these breaks, which often provide a much-needed opportunity to refresh yourself or clear your head. By building short breaks into your workday, particularly breaks that keep you active, you can maintain productivity while reducing the risk of burnout.1
Part of the daily routine you set for yourself should include a definitive end to your workday. When you can work from home (or anywhere with an internet connection), it's easy to allow work tasks to creep into your non-work hours, and the temptation to "just answer this last email" can be high.
Something as simple as shutting down your computer and changing your clothes can signify the end of your workday, allowing you to mentally (and physically) transition to "home time." And if you have work emails or apps on your personal phone, you may also want to consider setting quiet hours to silence any work-related notifications on your devices until you log in the next morning.
Give Yourself Grace
Working from home can be tough even during the best of times. Working from home during a global pandemic can present far more of a challenge, especially for those now needing to juggle childcare, schooling, and other tasks along with remote work.
Give yourself (and your coworkers) some grace in adapting to your new normal. Prioritize the work that truly needs to be done, and don't worry too much if less-urgent work sits for a day or two longer than it would if you were physically present in the office.
LPL Tracking # 1-981527 (exp. 4/21)