Coronavirus has sent many American workers into a tailspin. Whether you want to or not, many have been forced into remote working. How do you avoid distractions and remain productive? Those accustomed to remote work share some simple tips on how to stay on-task and make sure the hours don’t slip by. Here are some suggestions:
#1: Get Dressed When You Get Up
Working in your pajamas might sound glorious at first, but it can really hinder your work. Treat your day like you were going into the office. Get up, shower, and get dressed before you log-in. It signals your brain that this is time for work and not lounging around. Plus, it boosts your productivity and self-esteem.
#2: Set Up Your Workspace
It is really important to dedicate an area of your house that is used for working. It could be a true dedicated office, a dining room table, or maybe a make-shift table in a spare bedroom. Having a space solely dedicated to work helps people psychologically by triggering the brain to know it is time to work the moment you sit down.
#3: Set A Schedule
Depending on where you are working, you may need to adhere to their working hours (e.g. 8 am – 5 pm), but everyone is slightly different. You may be more productive in the morning. If this is the case, maybe start your day earlier and complete more difficult tasks before emails start rolling in. Then structure your day for meetings during working hours. Whatever you choose, make sure you adhere to your work’s guidelines, but be sure to take a few breaks here and there, as you would in an office setting.
#4: Communicate Frequently
Over-communication is key when working from home. Many companies have instant messenger systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams. You may need to email more or even spend more time on the phone. Over-communication with colleagues and managers is best to stay connected and on task. As a result, you may want to set up daily or weekly check-ins with colleagues. If you are feeling isolated, you could also conduct Skype or Zoom video meetings.
#5 Maintain Your Hours
One disadvantage to remote working is that everyone thinks you are on-call and available around the clock. Establish times that you are off-the-clock. At some point in the evening, you need to close your computer and stop taking phone calls and reading emails. It is important to have down time too and being home makes it harder to do. People often say that the lines get blurred, which actually hinders productivity in the long run.
These are just a few tips to get you started. Take each day one step at a time. We are living in an unprecedented time, and it is scary and uncertain. Try using these tips to guide you as you navigate remote working but overall stay well and healthy.
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