If you had told us all at the end of 2019 that in a few months pretty much everyone would be working from home, we would have laughed.
Yet, here we all are.
Working from home has its own set of challenges. How do you make sure you, and your team, are hitting maximum productivity?
How do you balance downtime with work time when there’s no distinction between home and the office?
It’s definitely a balancing act and one that we’re all learning and discovering together.
Here are some tips we’ve found helpful to keep you on track and will help you make the most of your workday, even if you’re not leaving the house.
Find Your Space
We hate to break it to you, but, your bed probably isn’t the best place to be working. I know, I know, back when you used to go to an office every day you probably had wild fantasies about the working from home lifestyle, and how you could write reports from your bed.
Unfortunately, not only is it a killer for productivity, but it also can seriously mess up your sleeping schedule! Your brain associates your bed with sweet slumber, and just being in your bed gives your body the cue to wind down. If you start working in it your body and mind will get a little out of whack and you might find it harder to sleep at night or stay awake long enough to finish that spreadsheet.
Having a designated spot in your house for work will trigger your brain that it’s time to be productive. Having this distinction will help you relax at the end of the day, and get down to business when you need to.
Either way, get out of bed. Sorry.
Have A Routine
Act as if you’re actually going somewhere. Even if that somewhere is the kitchen table.
Brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and getting out of those pyjamas (even if it’s to get into the second pair of fancier pj’s) will help boost productivity and break up your day.
Setting timers to remind yourself to stretch, eat, take a (socially distanced) walk, and give your mind a rest will help you avoid the trap of working long hours without a break. Studies suggest that taking breaks refreshes the mind and helps you become more creative. So, while you can’t annoy your coworker for a break, you can get up from the table and take a few minutes to stretch before you reply to that email.
Make A List (and check it twice)
Working from home makes it so easy to get off track. TikTok spirals are a lot more tempting when you’re not in the eyesight of your boss. Having a checklist to keep you on track and accountable for your tasks will help you stay productive, and on top of all those deadlines.
In an ideal world, we would all be able to work to full capacity while Netflix is playing an episode of Tiger King in the background, unfortunately for us mere mortals, it’s not realistic.
If you’re a procrastinator, or you’re easily distracted, help yourself by limiting anything that will trigger an unproductive day. Turn the TV off, tell your housemates that piece of celebrity gossip can wait, and knuckle down without having to divide your attention.
Talk To Your Team
Guys, it’s 2020. We have so many communication tools at our fingertips, use them! Organise weekly, bi-weekly, or even daily, Zoom calls with your team. Communication is the absolute key. Staying accountable for your workload, talking to others about what they’re working on, and keeping that team environment alive is really important to maintain quality output.
Utilise Slack or Microsoft Teams to chat throughout the day about projects, deadlines, and the latest memes. Connection and communication are vital to keeping office culture alive while we’re all separated.
Look After Yourself
It’s not every day you live through a global pandemic. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and your team. It’s important to remember self-care and look after your mental health while you’re working from home. Have a big breakfast before you start your day, and treat yourself to that bubble bath on Friday afternoon – you deserve it.