The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to send their in-office employees home to work remotely. Many of these businesses are still dealing with the unusual circumstances of the pandemic and are not planning on entering their offices for the foreseeable future. If you are struggling with working from home, try implementing a few of these tips:
1. Keep your working space organized. Working at a cluttered desk can be distracting and overwhelming. To help you stay focused throughout your workday, try setting up a table next to your desk where you can place any extra notebooks or to-do lists. This way, whatever you are working on is the only thing on your desk.
2. Create clear stopping points. When you work in an office, there are usually organic stopping points throughout your day. When you work remotely, however, those breaks don’t happen naturally. To avoid this, designate clear stopping or break points. Unless you’re working on something mission-critical, be religious about taking these breaks. For example, schedule out your lunch break. Avoid eating at your computer or skipping lunch. This can help to prevent burnout.
3. Keep short-term and long-term benefits in mind. When your motivation and energy is low, it can be hard to stay productive. When this happens, think about the short and long-term benefits of the task at hand. Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, keep your motivation up, and increase productivity.
4. Own your calendar. Make sure your non-negotiables are booked in advance. Mark all your meetings in a calendar and try to spread them out. Avoiding back to back meetings allows time to organize your thoughts and prepare for the next meeting.
5. Use a notebook or to-do list app. If you’ve ever felt lost in your workload, you know how important it is to have lists and to keep track of everything you need to do. One thing you can do is use a notebook. You can write out your to-do list or just brainstorm ideas. Another option is to utilize sites and/or apps such as Asana or the Microsoft to-do app.
6. Take more breaks. When you don’t take enough breaks throughout the day, you’re actually sacrificing more than productivity. While work culture has told us to ignore our body, working during a time when you’re most productive and taking breaks during unproductive times prevent a work-burnout.
7. Don’t forget about work-life balance. Communication with co-workers, feelings of loneliness, and overworking are challenges that remote employees face daily. To increase emotional energy throughout the day, try these tactics:
- Reach out to your work team.
- Exercise, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk.
- Find hobbies you enjoy and make time for them.
- Appreciate others. Take a few minutes to write or text a note of appreciation once a week. This can provide feelings of inclusion, connection, and belonging in a work environment.
8. Build lasting habits. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to self-incentivize. For example, once you get a certain task done, you can reward yourself with a new book (or whatever it is that’ll work for you). If self-incentivizing isn’t doable for you, you can try to build one habit that will enable other habits. For instance, if you focus on building the habit of keeping your calendar organized, that will enable other habits such as taking more breaks or exercising throughout the day.
Being remote isn’t always easy for employees. Trying out these tips above can help to maximize your productivity while helping you stay connected with your team. Forming these small habits every day can help you achieve success when you’re working remotely.