With a growing number of companies implementing work-from-home policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it looks like many of us will be working from home for an indefinite amount of time. While many people are used to part-time or fully remote work, this is a bit of a culture shock for those of us who are used to our office setting. We’d like to share some tips for a more productive workday from people who have successfully worked from home for years.1. Keep Your Morning Routine
Many of us have morning routines in place that help set the tone for the day. If you follow a morning routine, don’t forgo it just because you’re working at home. Keep up your exercise, meditation, hygiene, or coffee rituals even if they look a little different now.
Also be sure to get dressed. Working from home doesn’t require business casual, but staying in your PJs all day is a great way to promote an unproductive workday. Taking a shower and getting dressed helps your brain prepare for the day.
2. Designate a Work Space
While it may sound nice to stay in bed and lounge on the couch while you work, most people who work from home regularly recommended setting up a work area. If you don’t have an office or a desk, you could try your kitchen table. This will also help you stay organized as you won’t have work documents spread all over your home.
3. Avoid Distractions
Nothing can stifle creativity quite like distractions. Try to keep your work space as decluttered as possible and eliminate distractions where you can. Avoid watching TV, close your curtains or blinds if you can see outside, and if you’re in a space that has a door, keep it shut.
4. Create a To-Do List
Start the morning by writing out a to-do list. It can help you manage your day better and keep you focused on each task. Depending on how detailed you want to get, you can also write out tasks in order from most to least important. As an added bonus, checking things off your to-do list releases small amounts of dopamine.3
5. Communicate with Others in Your Home
Everyone’s life looks a little bit different right now, but if you’re one who is working from home with roommates or a spouse, or if you’ve got kids in the house, be sure to set some boundaries and communicate what can and cannot be done during working hours. If you need to work in separate rooms or if you have a meeting and need some silence, make sure everyone in the house is aware of what is needed.
6. Take Breaks
Many struggle with keeping work tasks and home tasks separate when working from home, getting distracted by laundry, dishes, or the doorbell ringing. The opposite can also happen, and you can find yourself working on projects through lunch, or working much later or earlier than usual. Don’t skimp on your breaks and take your full lunch break.
7. Get Fresh Air
While it’s strongly recommended we limit contact with the outside world and many events, restaurants, and other gathering places are closed, we may be finding ourselves spending most of our time in the home. Consider opening your windows and letting the sunlight in, taking a quick walk if you live in a less-populated area, or spend a little bit of your workday on the back porch.
We hope that you find these tips helpful in kickstarting a successful workday from home!