It’s crucial that we continue to do well at our jobs while ordered to stay home, so we’ve put together some tips to help.
For those of us with the ability to do so, who are now shifting to a work-from-home scenario due to the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining sanity and efficiency is a difficult task. From the strenuous idea of isolation, to the mental barrier challenge of doing good work from your “safe space”, the concept of work-from-home is one a lot of people are now only facing for the first time.
Here are five tips to keep you efficient and zen while adjusting to a work from home scenario.
Dedicate a workspace
In the modern workplace — Daily Hive included — we do a lot of work on laptops. Sure, you may have a dedicated desk at the office, but the ability to unplug the power and carry your work around with you is often key in productivity at work.
During your time in isolation, don’t adopt that same mindset at home. With a million distractions set-up in your living space to better your day-to-day life, it’s bound to mix and it doesn’t produce a whole lot of productivity.
Our suggestion is you dedicate a space. Be it a section of your dining table, a counter-top, or if you have a desk, set up your computer, and leave it there.
Listen to music
Some may have the expert multitasking skills to watch the news (we kind of have to) or televisions shows and movies while working, but a lot of us do not possess such prowess.
In contradiction, having no sounds to wash out the world you live in can be just as negative towards your working efficiency. Meaning, finding a middle-ground can play a key role in your output.
When we’re in dire need of working hard, it’s time to select a long music playlist that doesn’t include lyrics. This is an especially potent tactic if your job includes a lot of writing. Conjuring words while listening to other people say/sing words can be a steep hill to climb.
Luckily for all of us, there are plenty of tempo-specific (designed to keep a certain beats-per-minute to induce greater focus) playlists online, which you can listen to on YouTube, Spotify, or your preferred music platform.
Talk to your fellow employees or friends
Interaction is a basic human need. This is something that many in quarantine will be in extreme need of during this trying time. Plenty of work-ethic is born out of peer-pressure, or spurred on by your co-workers.
Talking with your friends, or co-workers can give you the boost you need to kick-start your productivity.
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In the modern age, there is a varied mountain of options for you to use when trying to maintain communication with your peers. Whether you prefer to speak live in a channel using things like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Discord, or you’d be better off in a text chat like Facebook Messenger or Slack, it’s crucial that we maintain the connection.
Though it plays a huge key in the sanity of all, it is particularly important for those that live alone and lack the presence of other people in your space.
Separate when you can
Tricky to hear, we know, but walking away from work is one of the best things you can do while working from home. There’s nothing more demoralizing than spending a stretch of multiple hours slumped over your mouse and keyboard, trying to keep things flowing.
Even if you were in your office, standing up and taking a bit of a walk around (get water, use the restroom, etc) can play a huge role in the maintenance of your physical health, and your mental health as a result.
Do NOT set up your home office within reach of things that you need, like access to snacks water, coffee, or permanent arms-reach of others. Take these needs and make them moments of disconnection. Go to the kitchen and drink some water. Leave your computer and make a snack/meal. Head into the living room and spark up a quick chat with your family.
Take a real lunch break. Yes. Regardless of how easy it may be to whip something up and then head back to your work area to eat it, don’t do it. Leave work alone, and express your unavailable status to anyone that you might have to, but take your damn lunch break.
Set up respect boundaries
Possibly the most important tip of all, and a potentially more difficult one to ensure, but setting up boundaries will provide you with a more familiar working environment.
These boundaries include talking to your loved ones and asking for them to respect that you’re working while at your new station. Asking for your close ones to keep their distance, or ask for permission to start a conversation, could mean the difference between getting what you need to be done finished, or missing those deadlines altogether.
A good practice is informing your partner when it’s time to be “head-down and focused,” which will keep interactions to a minimum when needed. If you’re someone that messages your spouse while at the office, you’ll know that hours can go by before you even read their text, let alone reply to it. Setting up that familiar separation at home is necessary.