2020 is the year everything changed, especially within the workplace. At first, companies shut down for a short period and over time, most have remained closed or become remote. Remote work has begun to affect cities where office culture was critical to productivity.
There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to knowing when offices will be open again. If you have a partner or roommate who is also working from home or learning remotely, things can get quite difficult. Here are 5 tips to stay efficient while you stay home indefinitely.
1. Clear A Space
By this time, you should've already carved out space for yourself. If not, then it's the moment to do so because you don't know how long you'll work from home. Having an office is ideal but a simple desk will do.
It can get challenging to find a space if you’re sharing an office or desk with your family, partner, or roommate. This is why it's critical to clear a space for yourself where you can be comfortably efficient. Don't cram into space where you'll be uncomfortable. Work with your partner to find a good spot. You may want to rotate between your space and the home office if you can work things out.
2. Set Boundaries
Working from home while your children remotely learn, can be challenging. Your day can be full of interruptions. Your kids may come to you for help with schoolwork, or ask for a snack or meal. They might also stop by during an important conference call.
Boundaries need to be set to minimize these interruptions. If your kids are older, be sure to share daily schedules with them so they know when they can ask for your help. Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time so they're able to eat without your assistance. If your kids are younger, you can use a visual cue to let them know if you’re busy or available. For example, using colored cue cards, you can stick a red cue card to your desk or laptop if you’re occupied, or a green one if you’re available. It’s important that you don't make them feel like you're ignoring them.
3. Set A Schedule
Though your work schedule hasn't changed, you probably take some liberties. For instance, you may get out of bed five minutes before your day begins. Maybe you run errands in between conference calls. These irregularities can destroy your efficiency.
This can be adjusted if you set a schedule that mimics what you would do at work. You'd get up early and eat breakfast. On the way to work, you might listen to some meditation or motivational podcasts. Take your breaks and lunch around the same time you did when you didn’t work from home.
4. Get Dressed
Working from home has its perks. For example, wearing sweats and t-shirts instead of business clothes everyday sounds quite fun. However, now it's a routine you can't get out of. The fact you don't get dressed or handle basic steps like combing your hair can develop into an attitude of laziness. As a result, it reduces the energy to perform up to your standards.
Get dressed, brush your teeth, and comb your hair. Even if you don't have a Zoom meeting scheduled, start your day like you have one. This will encourage you to get working and increase your productivity.
5. Realize This Might Be Permanent
Though you're eager to get into the office, there might be a chance you don't. Many companies have realized they don't require an office to handle daily operations. In fact, they've discovered their employees are more efficient when they work from home. So, they've asked companies like Coats SQL to update their staffing software to accommodate remote onboarding and training.
You want to prepare for this situation by establishing a permanent work area in your home that's free of distractions. Also, you want to shift your mindset in the case that this is permanent. When you do so, it alters your brain patterns. As a result, you consider it the norm.
A New Normal
Regardless of what happens in the future, know that the way you work is going to significantly change. Don't get caught with your sweatpants down when your company executives say this scenario will continue through the new year. Be prepared to operate at home for the long-term.
A comfortable workspace, set schedule, and boundaries will cause your efficiency to significantly increase. Eventually, how you perform at home won't be any different than when you were at the office.