Millions of Americans have been sent home from work with laptops in hand and instructions to remotely tend to their usual workload. Unfortunately, this can prove to be more difficult than it sounds. Here are four tips to help you be productive and efficient as you complete your workload from home:
Maintain regular hours. It is important to set a schedule, and stick to it. You should have clear guidelines for when to work and when to stop for the day. This helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance!
Establish a routine. What in your morning routine indicates that you are about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee, returning home after a jog, or feeding your pets. A routine can be more effective than a clock at helping you get started each day.
Set ground rules with the people in your space. It is important to set boundaries with other people in your home or those who share your workspace. If you have children at home while you are working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Just because you are home and can do chores or take care of pets does not mean other family members should assume you will always do it.
Keep a dedicated working space. Propping up your pillows and working in bed can sound like a good idea until you find yourself falling asleep in front of your computer screen. To keep your brain focused and in “working mode,” it is best to designate one area of your home to serve as your workstation as you wait out the outbreak. Keep the area clean and stocked with all the supplies you may need during your work hours. If you do not have a separate office in your home, dedicate a desk and some peripherals only for work use. When your laptop is connected to the monitor and external keyboard, it’s work time. When it’s on your lap, that’s personal time.