What started as a temporary work from home order morphed into a more permanent situation for many. With COVID-19 still raging throughout the U.S., likely, remote work won’t disappear in the foreseeable future. Whether you’re a WFH veteran or newly remote, use the New Year as an opportunity to refine your routine with the following tactics.
Clearly Define Your Work Zone
If you find yourself overwhelmed by kitchen clutter or your children’s toys are mixed up with work materials, it’s time for a zoning plan. All the various aspects of your home can live together harmoniously, with a bit of separation.
Clearly define a section of space as your work area. It allows your mind to be in a work headspace while conducting business there. It can be as simple as placing shelves near your desk for easily accessible work materials.
Relegate items that do not belong in your office space to other parts of your home. With everything conveniently located in your home office space, you’ll be prepared for the workday ahead, however hectic it turns out to be.
Stick to Your Schedule
Flexibility is a great benefit of not showing up to the office day after day. However, too much lack of structure can hinder your productivity. To counteract this, create a daily schedule. Start and end your workday at the same time, and make sure to set aside time for breaks as well. Create boundaries for your physical space, and do so for your time as well.
Work stress belongs to the workday, and it’s difficult to avoid bringing it home with you when you’ve never left your home in the first place. But by following a set routine, you’ll signal to your body and mind when it’s time to work and when it’s time to rest. Then try your hardest not to bring the worries of one part of your life—personal or professional—into the other.
Optimize Your Zoom Game
Virtual meetings have become the norm. They also provide you with much-needed human interaction, not to mention the chance to show off how much you nailed a recent project.
As an integral part of your remote workday, take some time to assess your Zoom appearance. The correct lighting, computer placement, and connectivity can make all the difference.
While you don’t have to wear business casual, you also don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed (especially if your team can see the said bed, merely feet away). Check out these Zoom meeting tips for even more ways to optimize your virtual meeting appearance.
Prioritize Tasks and Time
At face value, prioritizing the items on your work checklist seems obvious. In reality, it’s easy to get bogged down in “busy work” to appear productive. Although the typical workday lasts eight hours, individuals are unlikely to be completely productive 100 percent of the time.
Be aware of when your most productive work hours are and focus on top priority items during that time. The rush of dopamine, popularly known as the reward chemical, you receive from completing your tasks will motivate you to be productive. It is even more key when you work from home.
Make a checklist of all the tasks you need to complete during the day and rank them according to the importance level. Check each off after completion. Having a visual representation of the items you completed will contribute to a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in your remote career.
Ask for Respect for Your Work Space
When working from home, you may be sharing your workspace with other humans, often small ones. Or perhaps you have the benefit of having a room (or area) for yourself.
Either way, it’s okay and even necessary to set appropriate boundaries. Just because you take conference calls at your dining room table, or meet deadlines in your guest bedroom, doesn’t give anyone the right to intrude.
Whether it’s your spouse, child, or roommate, set rules and boundaries—complete with timelines—for your workday and space. Communicate when you need uninterrupted time for projects or tasks. For parents with younger children, try to tag-team needed supervision to give each other breaks.
Most importantly, ask your loved ones to respect your workday as if you were at the office. Boundaries and communication are keys to cohesion when sharing a home and office with others.
Set Consistent Working Hours
When you stay at home, you may get distracted by many household chores. But it is crucial to maintain a balance between work and your house. You have to set consistent hours to focus on your work. In this period, no one should be allowed to disturb you. In this way, you will focus more and do your work.
Make sure that you give enough time to your family. You are spending your whole day in your house, where you cannot prioritize only work. The perfect balance will help in increasing productivity. Maintain your schedule and stay disciplined while doing your office work.
Eat Right and Get Enough Sleep
When you stay at the office, you get into work for continuous hours without considering your diet and sleep schedules. Now, you are at your home, and you have enough time to manage things.
It is necessary to eat right and get enough sleep to stay healthy. If you are missing these things, then you can become sick. Whenever you feel hungry, get some snacks and have them while working on your laptop.
No one is looking at you. No need to take permission from any person. It is vital to take care of your health if you want to increase productivity. You can maintain a healthy diet by planning and eating the right food. Never forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and active. While working from home routine, you can also stay healthy.
Getting a balanced diet only will not make you fit, healthy and energetic. You need to keep moving, and therefore, you should do exercise regularly. In the beginning, you may get tired, but once you set up your routine, you will become more energetic. In this way, you will not feel lazy at all while working from home.
Your body will remain active, and hence, it will sharpen your brain. If you are struggling with insomnia, then regular exercise will let you to get enough sleep. It is vital to give complete rest to your body to prepare yourself for another day.
While doing work from home, you may get stressed, and hence, it is decreasing your productivity. The simple solution is to take some breaks. Like in an office, you go for a coffee break, you should also take some small breaks at your home.
You can do a lot of things like listen to music or read books or do some household chores. When you take breaks, you distract your mind and make it relax. In this way, you prepare your mind for another session of work. Start including breaks in your working routine to level up your productivity.
Involved in an Interaction with Your Team
When you go to the office, you are surrounded by your office team. Whereas, when you stay at home, you may miss that atmosphere. But now, it is possible to interact with them through a group video call.
Whenever you and your team have free time, you can call them and enjoy your office atmosphere. While doing work, you will not get bored, and hence, there will be more discussions on your project. It will scale up your productivity and increases interaction with your team members.
Improve Your WFH Habit in 2021
WFH is here to stay, so take the time to improve your routine, which, in turn, will improvise your happiness and productivity. With the above tactics, you can level up your process, space, and outlook as you continue to work and live from your home.
Happy remote working!