I’ll be honest that working from home is not something I love to do – for starters, I like to be around people, to exchange ideas and interact, and then there’s the problem of my dog, who will beg for treats or bring me a stuffed toy to play tug of war with him – when I’m at home, he thinks it’s a party all day.
Unfortunately we all don’t have a choice right now about working from home. It can actually be a very productive way to work – you eliminate commuting time and watercooler chat – that can contribute to getting more done.
I came across this article by Mark Beese with some terrific tips for how to be more productive when working from home. In short, he says:
- Get dressed
- Stick to your routine as much as possible
- Create a dedicated workspace
- Minimize distractions
- Manage your time
- Focus and plan for breaks
- Use your commute time wisely
- Build in time to connect with colleagues
- Use video meeting apps
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
- Stop working and shift gears at the end of the day
- Take time to reflect and be grateful
As an extrovert, this tip really hit home for me – “Many of us will feel a little lost and anxious after days (or hours) of social distancing. Build in time in your day for a phone or video app conversation with a co-worker each day. Find ways to brighten someone else’s day with humor and caring.” Read Mark’s full article.
I also like these tips from my friend Jay Harrington on what works best for him when working remotely. He says:
- Make a list every day. Making a list of priorities is important in any environment, but particularly so when the added distractions of home are brought into the mix. Focus on your top three priorities every day.
- Get up and move. I try to work in focused one-hour sprints and then get up for five or ten minutes to take a quick walk or do some light exercise. Get your blood pumping throughout the day.
- Stay disciplined with email. In a remote-working environment, especially as people learn to adapt, it’s likely that your volume of email will increase. Consider shutting down email notifications (if possible) and only checking email every hour or so to stay focused on substantive work.
- Be patient. Your colleagues are struggling to adapt too. Expect some bumps in the road.