Many people are transitioning to working from home temporarily as we do our best to deal with the coronavirus global pandemic. Working from home can be a challenge if you are suddenly thrown into it. Nobody trains you on how to adjust so it’s up to you to develop a game plan and stick with it. There are a number of distractions at home, perhaps you don’t have a space that you can call your own and you may have to contend with balancing work and family life. It’s so easy to get caught up in all your responsibilities at home and lose track of your work obligations. A number of clients and colleagues have reached out to me because they are truly struggling with trying to meet all their work commitments with all the interruptions that come with being at home. Generally, we come home from work and we can put some of the stressors behind us for the evening and simply enjoy our home life. Once you begin working from home, it’s much trickier. You lose that clear separation between those two aspects of your life. It’s up to you to create those boundaries in order to be successful and managing both. Here are some valuable tips to help you elevate your productivity at home while balancing work and home.
Brainstorming with Colleagues
Mervat Elschwarby, lead Resume Writer and Career Coach from NYC Resume, Interview & Online Prep states “Working from home can make you feel isolated and less engaged. Staying connected with colleagues is vital in inspiring ideas, leveraging one another’s strengths and essentially feeling part of the team.” Click here to visit NYC Resume. Don’t lose sight of that. Schedule times to connect even if it’s not initiated by leadership. Be proactive in fostering those relationships. That sense of belonging to a team is a big part of making work rewarding and fun. Collectively, results are typically better. Everyone brings a different perspective to a project or initiative. With technology today, it’s much easier to stay connected even if you are not working in an office environment together. In fact, with globalization, we have more experience working with individuals all over the world. Continue to build those key relationships as you work remotely. It is essential for your career success.
Stick with Your Schedule
Try to stick with your normal work routine as much as possible. Wake up at the same time as you normally would and get ready for work. Do everything you normally do in getting prepared and that includes dressing up. It’s a mindset, getting dressed for work makes you feel ready to begin your workday. On the flip side, wearing sweatpants or pajamas signals you are home and it’s time to do chores and attend to your family life. Because your attention is divided, there’s also a tendency to take long breaks and then work all hours into the night. Establish a work schedule and stick to it. It’s still important to maintain a balance and separation of work from your home life. Without that, additional pressures tend to rise.
It is essential to have a workspace where you can keep your computer, organize your documents and have limited interruptions. Structure is critical especially as you acclimate to working from home. Whatever steps you can take to develop that structure and discipline will go a long way in increasing your productivity and focus. There are some low-cost options available for desks and organizers that can make a big difference in increasing your productivity. Working at the kitchen table or on the couch is not ideal if you can help it. There are desks and organizational products that allow you to maximize small spaces and create order.
Let your family know that you need to concentrate on your work and your job is an important role you perform. Let them know your company has expectations of you. Take it as an opportunity to teach your children the importance of a strong work ethic and always putting one hundred percent effort into everything you do. If you have kids and they are old enough to take on some of the chores, now may be the time to give them more responsibility. This will free you up to focus on your work. If you have conference calls scheduled throughout the day, put your schedule on the refrigerator. This will help to limit interruptions. Schedule some activities for your family members as well. Think about fun and educational activities for the kids like puzzles, or projects that promote their creativity. Keep in mind, everyone is learning to adapt to these circumstances.
If you typically have lunch at noon, then do that. Take some time to step away from what you are doing. Breaks help you to decompress and spark creativity. It allows you to think of a different approach to an assignment you are tackling. Moving around, getting some fresh air as long as you are social distancing will help get the juices flowing so to speak. If it’s a sunny day, try to get out even for a few minutes. It will elevate your mood and allow you to start fresh. There are studies that show working hours on end without a break tends to lower your productivity levels.
Working from home is a transition. Like any other change, there is an adjustment period and it’s critical to create a plan on how to be most productive working from home. Take these essential steps to ensure you remain productive while working from home. If you are still having difficulties, a career consultant can be invaluable in adapting to working from home. Career coaches have extensive experience guiding people in being successful in their careers. They see things that one may not see because we are too caught up in our own situation. They help you to stay grounded, practice new techniques, challenge your current processes, ignite creativity and overall lead you to a career path of success.