Since the pandemic began in early 2020, working from home (WFH) had started becoming the new norm. No one had time to prepare for remote working or finding the best way to do so.
Regardless of whether you are working from home due to COVID-19 or in a remote job, you may need to alter some of your working habits to suit this new routine. Some questions that may have been arisen during this time may include:
- Where to work
- When to work
- How to create balance between work and personal life
- How to build relationships with colleagues
If you have started working from home, read on to find out more about how you can be productive during this WFH period.
1.Have regular hours
One important thing to note when working from home is that having a good work-life balance is necessary. Those that work from home tend to extend their working hours, as they do not feel productive in the evening.
Create clear guidelines for when work should start and end. You should be clear when you start work and when you end, to have a good balance.
A tip is to be on the same schedule as your colleagues, to have a gauge on when to start and end work. It is important to have time to yourself and recharge before starting the day again.
2. Create a routine
Creating a routine can help you get into work mode, especially in the morning. This routine will vary throughout different people — it can be from having a cup of coffee to going for an exercise class.
To create a productive routine, look into what you already do in the morning and make that your routine.
Getting dressed may be a form of routine to help you get into the mood to be productive. While it is tempting to stay in your pajamas while working, getting dressed may help you mentally get ready for the day.
3. Schedule breaks
Taking scheduled breaks throughout the day is important to keep you productive. Remember to give yourself enough time to eat and get your blood circulating, especially if you are staring at a screen all day.
If you work for a company, know your policy on breaks and remember to take them. When working, it is helpful to let your eyes rest from staring at a screen, even just for 20 seconds.
Schedules breaks are also important to keep your productivity levels up.
4. Keep a dedicated office space
While not everyone has an extra room they can dedicate for work, an office space can even mean having a desk used just for work. This can help differentiating work and personal time, to help your brain switch from rest to productivity mode quickly.
There are also many affordable ways to create a productive workspace to help you increase your focus during work hours. Try making your workspace comfortable with a fully supported chair and find an area with good natural light.
Having a dedicated office space also means minimizing any potential distractions which may cause you to lose focus. This can be from putting your phone in another room to letting your family know that you will be unavailable during office hours.
5. Socialize with colleagues
Working from home can cut a lot of social interactions you may have while working in an office. When working from home, remember to talk to your co-workers throughout the day. Set time to catch up with each other to uplift your mood during the work day.
Check in with them regarding their work and personal lives. As working from home may is new for most of us, they may also be struggling with it too. Interacting with your colleagues and help you feel connected to each other and to the organization, allowing yourself to be familiar around them.
Especially when we are working remotely, communication is important, not just with your manager but with your colleagues. Check in with them on assignments and work collaboratively whenever needed. This can also help to cut down on miscommunication and reduce social isolation.
6. Look for learning opportunities
Seek out learning opportunities when working remotely to help you keep in touch with skills necessary in your industry. there are multiple different online learning platforms to help you get the training and coaching you need.
While not necessary, getting some learning opportunities can help you in the long run too. These opportunities can not only be for your career, but also another way to learn something new.
If you organization regularly holds training opportunities, be sure to make sure you are included. Ask them for opportunities to help you grow.
7. Work when you are most productive
If you know that you are most productive in the mornings, give yourself time to focus during those productive hours and minimize distractions. Use your most productive hours to your advantage — getting most of your work done during those hours and leaving the rest of your time for meetings and calls for example.
Ultimately, there is no fixed way to be productive when working from home. It is important that you make working from home personal to you. While some may find it easier than others, take time to figure out what works for you and what does not. And if you find yourself getting increasingly unproductive, it may be time to shake up your routine!
This is certainly a time of uncertainty, remember to cut others some slack and be forgiving to others when they are feeling unproductive on certain days. Keep in mind that you do not know how your colleagues may be feeling during this time.