How to Work from Home: Tips Stay Productive
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With the spread of the coronavirus affecting everything from public transportation to economic growth, mitigating COVID-19 in the Philippines has become a growing concern. That’s why many companies are recommending or mandating that as many employees as possible work remotely until the spread of the virus can be slowed. Plenty of Filipinos fantasize about working from home, foregoing long commutes in favor of more sleep, exercise, or family time.
However, working from home is a double-edged sword – sure, you get to stay at home, but it can actually be more difficult to focus on your work. There are plenty of distractions around – from kids and pets wanting your attention, to Netflix shows you want to binge – staying at home can take a little extra effort. Plus, the isolation can become a downer for those who are used to socializing at work. If you find yourself working from home, there are several things that you can do to stay productive – while taking care of yourself and your loved ones.
Here are some work from home tips to help you stay productive.
- Develop a morning routine.
Working from home means that you don’t have to get up early, rush out of the house, and commute to your office. However, working from home doesn’t mean that you should skip your morning routine altogether. Get up early. Take a shower. Eat a healthy breakfast and drink your coffee. Prepare your lunch. Get ready for the day as though you are going to your office – because that is where you are headed, even if it’s just a few steps away.
- Designate a dedicated workspace.
When working remotely, carve out a designated spot in your home to call your home office or workspace. Make your workspace a stress-free zone of solitude and quiet where you can concentrate. It doesn’t matter if your ‘work only’ space is an entire room or a desk in the corner – this will be the space where you perform and store your work. By confining your workspace to a specific room or area in your home, you can concentrate on your work and your job won’t intrude into the lives of other household members.
- Maintain regular working hours.
If you’re self-employed, make sure to set a schedule – and stick to it. Having a fixed schedule for when to work and when to call it a day can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you’re still connected to a company and are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your boss may require you to observe company working hours.
Bonus Tip: No matter what your schedule looks like, make sure to communicate it with other members of your household. For instance, if you work from nine to five, make sure to let them know not to disturb you during those hours.
- Get dressed for the day.
Whether or not you’re expected in a video meeting that day, getting yourself dressed for your job is a vital psychological step towards preparing for a day of productive work. You don’t have to wear a suit jacket or your heels, but taking a shower, shaving, and dressing in a somewhat work-appropriate outfit can help stave off the sluggish feeling that wearing pajamas often carries.
Dress for success is not just a corporate catchphrase; it really matters when you work from home. Aside from psychologically getting you in the right mindset for work, you will be ready to handle any kind of video chat or check-in with your teammates or bosses.
- Take breaks.
Despite the stereotypes of remote workers slacking on the job, many actually have a tendency to work more when in a home office because the line between personal life and work life can become blurred. To avoid burnout, it is important that you take breaks and that you pull yourself away from work. Take regular breaks like you would in a typical work environment (e.g. take 15-minute breaks every few hours, enjoy your 1-hour lunch break, etc.).
- Make a to-do list. A simple to-do list can do wonders for keeping you motivated, organized, and productive as you work from home. As you create your list, think about short-term (e.g. completing a daily task) and long-term goals (e.g. finishing a project). Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, which can give you some positive reinforcement throughout the day. Type out or write your list instead of just having it in your head. You won’t have to allot headspace to constantly remembering what you need to do, and the simple act of crossing things off your list can help you stay motivate.
- Make time for exercise.
Making time for exercise is even more important as we stay indoors and live in uncertain times. If you are a morning person, you could exercise once you wake up. If you tend to get sleepy mid-afternoon, a quick workout in the middle of the workday can give you an energy boost. If you used to go to the gym after work, then you can exercise once you have finished your tasks for the day. It can be a an hour-long yoga session or a short, fifteen-minute workout – what’s important is that you get moving.
- Set boundaries.
Learn to say no. Refuse to commit to more projects when you are already overloaded. Remind yourself that there is a limit to what you can do.
- Use time management apps.
Do you struggle with staying on task while working from home? Using a time management app may be beneficial for you. For example, some productivity apps can track the amount of time you spend on each task and even minimize distractions. Using time tracker apps can help you see your productivity levels each day. Some time management apps that can help you stay on track include: Toggl, MindNode, MyLifeOrganized, and RescueTime – just to name a few.
During this pandemic, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to work from home. In fact, millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs. So, be grateful that you have that choice and that resources to do so. Continue to stay at home, practice good hygiene, observe proper social distancing, and find both serenity and productivity indoors.
Contact us if you want to earn a living working from the comfort of your home.