How to Stay Productive When Working From Home

Zach RinardFacebook, Personal Growth

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses are sending their employees to work from home. Working at home, especially for those who have never had to, can be a surprisingly difficult feat. It’s easy to get distracted, be unorganized, and get behind in your work. Here are some working from home tips to help you be successful during these trying times!

Designate a Workspace in Your Home

One of the most difficult parts about working from home is learning to separate your work life from your home life. When we physically go into work, it’s much easier to stay focused as there is a physical compartmentalization that allows you to keep your focus on your tasks. Home is the place where you go to relax and get away, so it can be difficult to focus just because you’re physically in your home.

The best way to combat this is to set aside a room that you can use as a sort of personal office. This gives you a designated space that you can mentally associate with work, helping you stay on task and productive! This should be a quiet, distraction-free area where you can focus, so it should remain off-limits to housemates during working hours. If at all possible, try to only go into your workspace when you’re working, so you can keep that mental separation strong.

Create a Daily Schedule to Stick to

It’s all too easy to roll out of bed a 8:55 AM and hop on your computer to be clocked in on time for 9. Unfortunately, this isn’t great for your level of productivity or even your own mental health. Keeping to a daily schedule is key to staying organized, productive, and successful. Try and schedule out every hour of your day, not only so you know what you have to do, but also to give yourself a general sense of structure. Setting aside an hour a day to exercise is also very important in these unprecedented (and incredibly sedentary) times. My personal schedule, for example, looks something like this:

  • 7:00 AM – Wake up
  • 7:30 AM – Shower/get dressed
  • 8:00 AM – Make breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – Clock in for work
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch/exercise
  • 1:00 PM – Clock back in
  • 3:00 PM – Stand up, move around, and refocus
  • 5:00 PM – Clock out

Your schedule can be as detailed as you want it to be, but even just something basic like this can help you stay focused and have structure.

Communicate with Your Coworkers

The social aspect of our jobs is one that we often take for granted. Seeing and chatting with your coworkers is a normal change of pace in our everyday lives, and working from home can disrupt that. Communicating with your coworkers is also integral for the success of your team for obvious reasons. Trying to group text your whole team can be difficult and unorganized, so we recommend tools designed specifically for work communication such as Slack.

Tools like Slack empower your team to send each other direct messages or even chat in specific “channels” that have a specific focus. Maintaining the balance of work-talk and social-talk is also important. While we don’t want to see employees exclusively goofing off in chat rooms, it is important to participate in some fun chit-chat to help maintain a sense of normalcy.

Go for Daily Walks

I briefly mentioned this earlier in the daily schedule section, but I’m giving this one it’s own section to doubly stress the importance of getting out of your home and getting some activity in. Taking a daily walk allows you to relax, breathe some fresh air, and take some time away from work. Right now, your work life and home life are entangled in an uncomfortable way, so it’s important to get out of the house and have some space for yourself.

It is still important to maintain social distancing standards, but it’s completely okay to go outside! Just make sure to stay at least 6 feet away from people at all times. Keep in mind, your daily walk doesn’t have to be real exercise. The goal of the daily walk is just to give yourself some personal time, clear your head, and feel better when you return to your home office.

Play Some Music and Zone In

Listening to music a great way to mentally separate yourself from your physical space, since you can’t hear any of your all-too-familiar home noises. Instrumental tunes work best for this, but if you’re able to focus while you listen to music with lyrics, go for it! Listen to a full album that you haven’t listened to in a long time, play some classical music or jazz, or play something you’ve never heard before! Some of our favorite productivity playlists are:

Keep a Positive Attitude

It’s no doubt that this pandemic has done some damage to morale. In these hard times, it’s understandable to feel uncertain, depressed, stressed, or anxious for the future. These feelings are valid. That being said, it is incredibly important to stay positive. It may seem like a cliche, but focusing on maintaining a positive outlook has been scientifically proven to help keep you productive at work and in your personal life. Some great ways to improve your outlook are:

  • Learn something new daily
  • Teach your coworkers something you learned
  • Take a mental break when necessary
  • Keep your work space organized
  • Write a list of positive in your life
  • Remind your team that they’re doing a great job
  • Reward yourself for accomplishments

As one of the lucky businesses who are able to operate remotely, Rinard Media wants to extend our hand to the community and help how we can. If you need help staying productive from home, we are happy to provide the resources at our disposal to enable your business to be successful.