The ongoing global health crisis has disrupted the way people do their work. Instead of driving or commuting to the office, employees need to stay home in an effort to “flatten the curve.” As a matter of fact, almost half of the labor force in the United States is working from home full time.
Although many see working from home as an opportunity to save on gas and transportation expenses, not everyone is happy with the setup. Maintaining productivity can be a challenge, especially if an employee is facing many distractions at home.
If your home has become your next office (and will be your office for quite a while), you’ll need to take steps to stay productive while keeping your work-life balance in check. Here are a few tips to stay on top of your professional game during these times of uncertainty:
Use Your Office Computer Strictly For Work
If you’ve been issued a computer to let you work from home, use it only for work-related purposes. Don’t use your company-issued devices, such as a Lenovo business laptop, to install and play games. If you want to play computer games, save up for a personal desktop or laptop computer and do your leisure activities outside working hours.
Stay Connected With Your Team
Constant online communication is more important than ever, as you have less face-to-face conversations with other people. You, therefore, should find ways to communicate with your colleagues and bosses more often.
Use the workplace collaboration platform provided by your company. If your organization doesn’t have one, try to schedule and conduct teleconferences via popular platforms, such as Slack, Zoom, Skype and Google Meet.
Virtual meetings are beneficial for remote workers. They’re fantastic for maintaining relationships and gives you (and your teammates) the opportunity to help workers who are having a hard time getting things done at home.
Come Up With An Eating Plan
Avoid the routine of waking up, turning on your computer and going straight to work without eating breakfast. Apart from being unhealthy, this prevents you from thinking clearly, as you haven’t eaten food that can fuel your mind and body.
So plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks ahead of time. Do it on the weekend or at the start of the week. When choosing what to eat, pick healthy food, such as fruits, veggies and low-carb pasta. Also, limit your consumption of sugary drinks and processed foods. You want to make sure that you stay healthy while you’re at home.
On top of following a healthy diet, you need to work out to stay in shape. Proper exercise helps boost your energy levels and combats fatigue.
A few work-from-home workouts you could do to keep your muscles moving are the following:
- Jumping Jacks – This basic exercise involves jumping in one spot with coordinated arm and leg movements.
- Lunges – This exercise strengthens the legs and the lower body. You position one leg forward with a flat foot and a bent knee while the other leg stays behind.
- Plank – This workout engages the entire body by holding a push-up position using your forearms or hands.
Use Stress To Your Benefit
When you’re working from home, don’t avoid stress like a plague. Some stressors can motivate you, help keep you focused and stimulate a better performance at work. Use this stress to help you get your work done for the day.
If the levels of stress do become overwhelming, pause and take a deep breath. Then, refocus your energy on the highest priorities of the day.
Keep Your Calendar Updated
Your colleagues should know how you schedule your workday. You could do this by keeping your work calendar up to date. Apart from showing your scheduled calls and meetings, consider adding time blocks for tasks that you plan to work on for the week. Don’t forget to put the “BUSY” word or sign on your calendar. This means that you prefer not to be interrupted during this time – unless it’s a work-related emergency.
Create A Clear Working Area
A messy and disorganized area won’t contribute to your overall productivity. If your desk has seen better days, get rid of the clutter and put only work-related stuff on it.
Use Noise-Canceling Headphones
If the noise from your neighbor is annoying you, wear a noise-canceling headset to eliminate auditory distraction. Also, choose music that lets you focus. A few examples of music that could help you focus are classical music, upbeat tunes and your favorite modern songs.
These suggestions will help you stay productive while working from home. Leverage these tips and help your colleagues and your boss maintain their productivity during these trying times.
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