To slow the spread of Covid-19, many businesses and organizations have temporarily closed their offices and storefronts, instructing employees to work from home instead. While working from home has its perks — a more flexible schedule, no long commutes, being in the comfort of your own space — it can also be a difficult transition. Working from home has its own unique set of distractions and temptations that can be hard to ignore.
If this is your first time working from home, here are 8 tips to help you stay motivated and on track.
1. Stick to Your Morning Routine
When working from home, it can be tempting to roll out of bed and go straight to your computer, but establishing a morning routine is crucial, not only for your mental health but your productivity. A study in the Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology found that professionals work better when they get dressed to work from home. Elevate your work-from-home attire and save 25% off almost everything with the code SUPPORTLOCAL. Click here to learn more.
2. Set Firm Work and Non-Work Boundaries
Setting firm boundaries while working from home is a must. This includes designated workspaces, preferably not your couch or bed; limiting contact with housemates, spouses, and children while you are working; and not working more than your scheduled hours. Emailing co-workers to let them know you are off the clock, putting away work reminders, and even changing out of your "work" clothes are all ways to signal the end of your workday.
3. Create a Daily To-Do List
To help you stay organized, structure your day like you would if you were in the office or at the store. At the start of each day, schedule what needs to be done and when, and how it took. A calendar, planner, or digital reminders are all great ways to stay on top of tasks.
4. Turn on Background Noise
Studies show that soothing nature sounds can physically alter the connections in our brain, and reduce our body's natural fight-or-flight instinct. Turning on background noise, whether it's soft music or nature sounds, can help you concentrate and lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
5. Schedule in Breaks
When creating your daily to-do list, be sure to schedule in time to step away from your workspace and relax. Go for a walk outside, grab a snack or spend time with others who might also be in the house.
6. Move Around
If you find your mind starting to wander, get up and move around. There are plenty of ways to build movement into your work routine, like walking during a phone call, stretching when a file is uploading, or a quick change in workspace setting. Staying active while working can help combat brain fog, discomfort, and even injury.
7. Utilize Online Communication Tools
If you didn't before, now is the perfect time to start connecting with co-workers and clients, and even friends during off-hours, through video calls and group chats. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are just two examples of online tools that help you stay connected, and alleviate feelings of loneliness. Make plans to touch base with your team and discuss work regularly.
8. Group Meetings Together
If your work requires you to meet frequently with team members, clients, etc., try to schedule all your meetings back-to-back. Getting them out of the way at once helps avoid multiple interruptions to your workday flow. The same can also be said for managing your emails.
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