As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads in the USA, many companies are requiring their employees to work from the safety of their homes. Working from home presents an additional set of unexpected challenges, from juggling work priorities and errands to creating a space that permits the same amount of focus and concentration as your office desk. Whether you are a seasoned remote worker, or if this is your first time, we have tips to help you navigate these next few weeks while keeping motivation and productivity flowing!
- Create a designated space for work. While making your home your temporary office, it’s easy to slide into unproductive habits such as working in your bed, or keeping the television running in the background. Although they seem innocent at first, these distractions will impact your productivity in the long run. Create a specific work area away from your bedroom and distracting screens, and stick to working in that space.
- Get dressed and look the part. To help increase alertness during the day, dress the way you would if heading into the office. Working in your pyjamas or sweatpants (as comfortable as that might sound) will send a signal to your brain that you are gearing up to relax and unwind, rather than to ace that sales call.
- Favor video chats with colleagues. At a time when isolation is the new norm, it is important to stay connected with your coworkers. Next time you start drafting a long email to send to a colleague, ask yourself if you can just request a short video chat instead. This not only creates a feeling of connectedness, but also allows for immediate feedback from your colleagues.
- Meal prep to save time. A major challenge we face when working from home is the increased accessibility to snacks, and temptation to graze during the day instead of carving out time for proper meals. As we navigate the next few weeks, it is important to keep our immune systems strong, and healthy meals will more than ever be our ally. Carve out time during the day to put all devices away and sit down with a nutritious meal.
- Plan mini breaks to refuel. Whether you are social-distancing or in self-quarantine, it is critical to take time during the day to get up and stretch, and take a step away from your screens. If your current COVID status allows it, take a short break to walk around the block and breathe in the fresh air. If you are safer at home, take a few minutes to stretch your legs and back. This is also a good moment to seek funny content online, or jump on a quick call with a friend to share how your day is going. Breaking up the monotony of self-isolation is key to staying productive and positive during this stressful time.
- Work collaboratively. Work with your team to create a shared doc with daily and weekly priorities to help everyone stay on the same page. In times like these, it is wise to lean towards over-communicating to make sure teams each know what their goals are. Because the COVID outbreak is constantly evolving and changing, it is important to revisit these priorities often and thoroughly. We recommend using Google Sheets and Google Docs to stay ahead and quickly communicate with your team at any given moment.