Set yourself up for success by creating a place where you can focus on the tasks at hand, feel motivated by your environment, and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
- Create a designated spot for work at home – preferably not the kitchen table.Set up a dedicated work space and leave it behind or pack it away at the end of your working day.
- Resist the urge to work in bed. Working from bed almost never results in being more productive, and it can mess with your sleep.
- Try having designated “work from home” clothes to get you into the right frame of mind.
Working too much
Letting work and personal time drift into each other is a bad habit, but an easy one to fall into when you’re working from home. Your brain really does need time away from work in order to do a quality job at work. If you only work, eat and sleep, you’ll lose productivity very quickly.
- Set yourself a schedule for starting and finishing your work day as well as for various pieces of work and breaks.
- When you don’t have coworkers interrupting you, it can be easy to stay at your desk far longer than is healthy. Make sure you schedule in some regular breaks where you get up from your desk and move around. That might mean grabbing more coffee, taking a short walk, or moving from one work location to another.
- Use the “do not disturb” function if available on the communication software you are using.
Prefer to wake up early and get a jump start on your day by 7AM? Go for it! Or maybe you’re a night owl and get most of your work done after dinner. That’s okay too.There are some remote jobs where you’ll need to have more of a set schedule, and you’ll probably have some meetings you need to attend at times that work for the whole team, but outside of those commitments, you can usually set your schedule in a way that works for you and your most productive times.
Grouping a bunch of meetings and appointments together with only short breaks in between leaves you with longer stretches of uninterrupted time outside of those meetings to actually get your work done.
Maintaining interaction and social connection
- Make sure you catch up with at least one colleague over video/phone every day. If you manage people, have a quick dial in with each person every day. Things are changing fast at the moment, and everyone needs support to keep delivering.
- If you’re not an introvert, isolating yourself all week long is a surefire way to burn out quickly. And even introverts benefit from getting out and seeing other people on a regular basis.
- You are going to be using video conference a lot. Figure out where you are going to be, turn on the camera on your laptop and have a careful look at what is behind you. Keep it professional.
- Make sure you test any new technology before the meeting so you don’t have other people waiting for you to join.
Health & well-being
- Even though you can’t visit a coffee shop, try to do some outdoor exercise like a walk or run every day. You’ll go stir crazy very quickly if the only thing you see is the inside of your own place. And because you’re not having endless corridor meetings in the office, you might consider taking a longer lunch break and getting out of the house in the middle of the day for some outside air.
- Communicating online in a social context as well as a work context is important to keep a balanced mental frame of mind.