By Jessica Carlson, Account Executive
Since March 2020 with the beginning of the Pandemic and the world shutting down, working from home has become more and more common. Even as we’re coming out of the pandemic more employers are not only allowing working from home, but some are requiring it. If you are like me, you struggled to be productive amid endless distractions. Dog must go out or will not stop barking, kids need to be fed, neighbors with people going in and out all day long, cats jumping in your lap in the middle of a zoom meeting, and the list goes on.
As soon as we could go back into the office I jumped at the chance, even if there was no one else there. But there are still days that’s it’s more convenient to not have to drive across town; so how have I been able to be productive on those days? I scoured the internet for tips and tricks. Some of the more effective tips I have listed here.
Set Up a Workstation
It’s important to have a space that is dedicated to work and only work. Try to find a spot that is away from the busyness of family life as they can distract you from focusing. You’ll want to make sure that you have all of tools you would normally have at the office, such as extra monitors. It is really difficult to go back to a single laptop monitor. And you will need to get a comfortable chair. After about a week of sitting at my table with a hard wood dining chair I borrowed my chair from the office. It was a life saver.
Stick to a Schedule
It is easy to log in early when all you have to do in the morning is turn on the computer. Or log off late when you do not have a commute home. For your own mental health, establish a routine and stick to it. Shut down your computer instead of leaving it on to check “just one more time”. Do not respond to emails when you’re watching a movie with your family. These boundaries are extremely important to separate your work and home life.
When you are in the office it’s easy to get up from your desk and have a quick walk about the office. When you are at home and a coworker needs you but you’re not readily available it’s easy to feel like people think you are slacking or not doing your job because you were not sitting at your computer at that exact moment that they tried to call you. If you do not take breaks you will start to feel worn down and fatigued. Get up! Take a walk. Go on a quick bike ride during lunch. Even if it’s just going outside for a few minutes of fresh air, do something to avoid the burn out.
The last, and possibly most important thing to help with productivity, is keeping connected. Communication can be difficult to maintain when your whole team works remotely. Schedule regular check in meetings. This has become a lot easier since Zoom and Microsoft Teams have come into play, since you can still meet face to face even if you’re not in the same place.