By now, millions have transitioned from their office cubicle to their kitchen table. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies want their employees to stay at home for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to look at your current remote work routine. Are you set up for the next few months?
Explore some of these ideas so you can be a productive remote worker throughout this new experience:
1. Maintain a Daily Schedule
A schedule can make or break your remote work experience. Even though you’re not at the office anymore, it’s essential to build a routine. This way, you can balance your personal and work lives effectively. Sometimes, it’s easy to blur the line between the two when you work from home. You want to make sure you complete your tasks and have enough time for yourself later on.
Make a goal to wake up at around the same time every day. You can create a to-do list each morning as a way to outline your workday. Don’t forget to take breaks every few hours, either. Remember to adjust tomorrow’s schedule if you need to work an extra hour today. This step helps you maintain a work-life balance.
2. Take a Few Breaks
You should never forget to stretch your legs throughout the day. At the office, it’s easy to break away from your desk since there’s an expectation to do so. You and your co-workers may have settled into a routine where you walk around the block after lunch. Try to replicate those actions as you work from home. You could also try micro-breaks if you don’t have time to set aside 30 minutes.
A break can help you concentrate on your work more fully throughout the day. If you decide to take a longer break, be sure to relax completely during it. Don’t use this opportunity to clean your kitchen. Instead, grab some coffee that you can sip outside on your porch. This way, your brain can rest for a little.
3. Set Boundaries With Family
If you live alone, you’re likely ready for a productive workday at home. But maybe you live with family or roommates. It’s smart to have a conversation with them about your work hours. This way, it’s a lot easier to create boundaries. Your household should know your work isn’t any less important because you’re doing it at home. You still have deadlines to meet!
Establish a few ground rules with your family or roommates. Talk to everyone about certain responsibilities. They can’t expect you to wash the dishes and collect the mail just because you’re home. Let them know that they should avoid bothering you within a set time frame. If there’s an emergency, you’ll be available — but otherwise, they can come to you on your break. These boundaries can ensure you stay productive.
You may also want to look into specific tax credits for child care if you have children at home. If you employ a nanny or babysitter to watch your kids as you work, you could earn money back on your tax return. This perk can help you justify those expenses, especially because it’ll be easier for you to focus on your work.
4. Choose the Right Workspace
It may take you a while to find a workspace that allows you to be productive. After all, not every house has a home office. It may help to test out different areas throughout your week. Think about what you like about each spot as you rotate. Everyone works differently, so it’s up to you to find a space that suits your needs.
You should also consider how you want your workspace to function. Some people can work from a laptop, while others need extra equipment to complete their duties. Try to find a space where you can use a flat surface and set up a chair. An ergonomic workspace helps you avoid any posture issues that come up after eight hours behind a desk.
5. Communicate With Others
Remote work comes with many perks. That said, it’s not always easy for teams to adjust to these new procedures. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you don’t forget to communicate. You can’t walk down the hall to ask your co-worker a question like usual. Maintain close contact with your team so everyone stays up to date with each other.
For example, you could create a group on Slack or Google Hangouts for your team to discuss projects. You could stick to your email, too. Either way, you and your co-workers need to have a streamlined way to communicate. Remember not to spend too much time on these platforms, though. They can quickly become a distraction.
Try These Tricks for a Productive Remote Workday
It can take a while to transition fully to a new work-from-home setup. If you want to create a productive workday, try these tips. In no time, you’ll have a routine that works for your situation.