Many of us are now being forced to work from home, which may or may not suit everyone. It can be challenging, especially when you have to adapt in the midst of all the other uncertainties that the coronavirus / COVID-19 has brought. Here are some strategies that can help you stay focused when working remotely.
Reserve your office space
Pick a space in your house that is away from distractions and has a door that you can close. Try to organise this space so that you feel more as if you’re going into the office. Clear those personal files and other distraction from your desk.
Creating a distinct space can help with the mental association that you are going to work. Keep the same routines that you normally do when going to work – shower, shave, put on makeup and say good bye to your partner / spouse and kids. Getting out of your pajamas and into your work clothes puts you more in work mode.
Stick with your routines
Keeping a similar schedule helps, too. If you go to the office at a certain time every day, that’s when you should show up at your home workstation. If you took breaks at consistent times when on-site, do the same at home. This helps tell your brain it is business as usual, even when you are working out of your spare room on a folding card table!
You may not be able to go out and grab a coffee or eat lunch out with colleagues, but you can still go have a cup in the kitchen or order lunch from a local business that is open or offering home delivery – help them to stay in business too!
If you used to reading your email first thing, do that still. If your team had a weekly conference call Wednesdays at 11, try to keep that, too. You can use voice or video conferencing to stay in touch while remaining separated.
This is going to mean different things for people. Working from home with children is tough, especially as you should be supervising their online learning. If possible, giving them a separate, dedicated space for schoolwork can help to keep them motivated and away from you. You may even try to offer them incentives (e.g. “I’ll let you watch Netflix later if you stop distracting me”).
The news and social media are other traps for those working from home. No one is watching over your shoulder, and it’s easy to think, “I’ll just check …” That’s how you can easily lose 30 minutes of productivity scrolling through Facebook or watching funny videos on YouTube.
Still struggling? You could consider setting up separate users on your computer – one for work and the other for personal use.
Setting deadlines can help you stay motivated. The longer you have to get something done, the slower you’ll work – it is inevitable. So, maintain some pressure by setting tight, but realistic targets.
Also share your deadlines with other colleagues as this will keep you accountable.
This is a stressful time and you are being asked to deal with many changes thus you need to be patient and don’t worry if things don’t work out straight away.
One approach is to say you will do 30 minutes of work on that one thing you are avoiding. The worst case is that you will only get 30 minutes of it done. But you might find it only takes 30 minutes to complete or that you’re so close to finishing that you keep going and get the job done.
Have the right technology
Make sure you have the right tools to help you do your job. Working from home is challenging enough, so make it easier with computers, reliable internet and WiFi connections.
Do you need help with working from home? If you are in Adelaide, South Australia, our tech experts can get you set up with the most efficient home office solutions. Contact us on 08 8326 4364 or via email at email@example.com!