While working from home has become second nature for many employees, we know staying motivated throughout the day can sometimes be a challenge. Increased distractions at home and a more flexible schedule can make it difficult to get into a groove each day. With this in mind, our expert recruiters are sharing 10 ways to help you stay productive throughout the entire day while working from home.
Set a schedule
First and foremost, when you’re working from home it’s important to set a schedule for yourself. Our recruitment team recommends starting work early in the day, the way you would if you were working from an office. If you have the ability to make your own hours, work when you feel most productive and schedule household chores and errands during the times of day when your energy tends to wane. Communicate with your manager so they know when you’re online and when you might be away from your desk. If possible try to give yourself at least one day free of video calls so you can spend that entire day getting work done. And of course, don’t forget to choose a time to log-off each day.
Take time to get ready
As tempting as lounging in pajamas all day may sound, getting dressed for the day will help you get into work mode and feel more motivated. Having a consistent morning routine before you dive into your inbox is a great way to mentally prepare for the day, and getting ready fully will help you differentiate weekend time from work time.
Upgrade your work setup
When companies transitioned to a WFH model back in March, many employees found themselves working from home for the first time. The change happened so quickly that many people had no choice but to work from their sofas or in some cases their beds. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to upgrade your setup. If you have the budget, invest in a comfortable chair and a proper desk to create an organized space for yourself. If you’d rather start small, spruce up your home office with a plant, a framed photo or a new lamp to help you feel more inspired.
Create a to-do list
Staying organized and on task is even more important while working from home. Let’s be honest, the home office comes with its own set of distractions, so it’s important to have a to-do list to come back to when you get off track. Prioritize the top things you have to do each day, plus any additional tasks for when you have extra time. Having a to do list with projects to cross off will help keep you productive and leave you feeling more accomplished at the end of the day. Be sure to continue to add to your list and hold yourself accountable for sticking to deadlines.
Set yourself up for success at home by limiting distractions. If you find yourself on your phone a lot, consider setting it to “Do Not Disturb” throughout the day or turning off “push notifications” so you’re not constantly interrupted or tempted to check when work needs to get done. When working from home it’s easy to get distracted by dirty dishes or a full hamper, but try to set aside time “after hours” or during your down time for chores. If you live with other people, be sure to set expectations ahead of time so they know when you’re working or have an important meeting that can’t be interrupted. Our recruiters recommend communicating with your manager frequently so they understand your circumstances at home and can help you navigate when needed.
Nutrition is key
When working from home it can be easy to forget to drink water or set aside time for meals, but try to avoid falling into these bad habits. Not only will drinking more water make you feel good physically, it will also give you the mental boost you need to tackle projects throughout the day. Prepare meals the night before so you have one less thing to think about while you’re working and then take a proper break at lunch time to refuel for your afternoon.
Does your company use Microsoft Teams, Slack, or another project management system? Utilizing these platforms will not only help you stay organized, but will allow for full transparency with your team and manager. Other tools to consider are apps that help you time block and track internet usage, which will both help to limit distractions and keep you on task. Our recruiters also love a good old fashion timer so you can maximize your productive hours.
Stay connected to coworkers
While you work from home, feelings of isolation and loneliness can start to creep in. To avoid feeling unmotivated or lost, our recruitment team recommends having a scheduled weekly or bi-weekly touch base with your manager to discuss things like workload, mental health, and career goals. Connect with coworkers to share what you’ve been working on, get feedback and motivate one another the way you would if you were in the office.
As mentioned above, “turning off” may feel impossible during this time, but it’s necessary to fend off feelings of burnout. When your home is your office, it’s important to set boundaries with technology so you’re not replying to emails until midnight. Breaks are equally important. Allow yourself time throughout the day to take a coffee break or go for a walk, so you can clear your head and come back to work refreshed.
Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments! When working in our home bubbles, it’s easy for wins to go unnoticed. There’s nothing more motivating than the feeling you get after a job well done, so, take the time to congratulate yourself and those on your team for the hard work being put in. Our recruiters recommend doing a “weekly win” video touch base with your team at the end of each week to share accomplishments and plan for the week ahead.
When working from home during this time it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone. Lean on your team and manager for support when you need it. For more resources to help you succeed in your career click here.