Many people have been transitioned to remote employment over the last few months. The increased attention to health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for work-at-home roles that had never been explored or allowed before. For many, the chance to stay within the comfort of their home and avoid the morning traffic was more than enough reason to fall in love with remote employment.
For others, it was the ability to take care of their kids while schools and daycare facilities were closed. For others, it was nice to have the solitude and a distraction-free work zone. Whatever your position on working from home, you need to learn how to adapt and be productive in your new environment.
Create a Work Spot
It might seem convenient to simply pick up your laptop and cell phone and plop down wherever you feel comfortable, but in the long run, this will hurt your productivity. When the novelty of working from home wears off, you are going to need to psych yourself up for work every morning just like you used to do. Having a dedicated spot in your home or apartment helps get you in the right mental place to start work each morning.
Don’t do work in the bedroom if you can help it. You want to separate rest and relaxation from work and stress. The kitchen, dining room, or a converted closet can be good office space, but you may be able to get more creative within your home. Have a desk or table where the only function is to hold work items, and when you clock out for the day, leave all those items right where they are. Don’t take work home when you have already been there all day. Do what you can to create a space with few distractions.
Create a Communication Pal
The isolation of working from home can start to get to you after a while. Even if you have a spouse, partner, or children there with you, it doesn’t feel the same as chatting with your coworkers or catching up on the latest office rumors. Though people would think they are more productive without communication distractions, studies find that remote work for long periods of time can have negative psychological side effects.
One way through this challenge is to find a buddy or friend that you can chat with. You need to carefully work this habit around your work expectations, and you may need to consider getting a second phone number while you are at home. If your company needs you to keep your phone line open for employer or client calls, invest in a Ninja number while working at home.
This way you don’t have to tie up a phone line while chatting with your friend or letting a client call. Plan on communicating with someone outside your home at least once a day, whether it be a co-worker, a family member, or a friend. You still want to feel connected to the outside world, or you may lose motivation and energy while working alone at your desk.
Use a Schedule
For salary employees, there may not be the requirement of a straight 8-5 work schedule. This makes it a lot harder to get out of bed and stick to a normal schedule when working from home. If you are going to keep getting work done or boosting your sales results, you need to keep to the routines that you would have had at the office. Though you may be able to trade in your commute time for some extra sleep, don’t just roll out of bed and sit down at the desk.
Adapt to the Change
The transition to working from home usually takes some time, and in the midst of the pandemic, there wasn’t a grace period or learning curve. It just happened. It is a lot easier to get distracted when working from home, whether you consider putting on Netflix in the background or jumping up to throw in a load of laundry. All of these distractions ruin your productivity.
Fortunately, there are a lot of people learning to adapt to this new environment just like you. However, you can’t spend months figuring this thing out. You need to adapt to your new situation and get back to business.