As required by governments in order to accommodate social distancing requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19; many companies are proposing - even requiring - that many employees work from home. For those who are not used to working at home or who don't have an organized work area; intrusions in a makeshift living room or kitchen offices can interrupt your productivity.
After all, you're in your home environment with kids that are likely not in school, not your usual professional atmosphere. Laundry needs to be done, dishes, kids and louder background noises than usual. Or maybe you’re just tempted to watch The View since you're always at the job when it's on, or finish a good film on Netflix! Then there’s the dog that needs to go for a walk or simply just think it’s cool that you’re there and wants to play. Alternatively, maybe since you’re at home 24/7, you find yourself working overtime on the job long after you usually would have stopped and begun some personal or family time. On top of it all, a “24-hours-a-day-at-home” fever could be sneaking up on you.
HOW TO ADJUST
If you're not used to doing the home-office thing; it could take some time to get used to the new challenges. It's essential to have a fixed schedule and stick to it. Avoid sleeping in or delaying over breakfast; and get down to work just as if you're running across town to your job, even though you are likely just stepping into the next room. Here are a few tips to aid in adjusting to your new situation during the balance of your time spent working from home:
Ready to Experience Alkaline Hydration?
Enter to win a FREE 3 x 24PK supply of premium alkaline (pH 9+) bottled water Agua Plus
1. Restrict your workspace to a particular area in your residence, so your job doesn't interfere in the lives of other family members, and you can focus. Have an area that you designate as your workstation instead of monitoring emails, voicemails, or texting in front of the TV or working on the kitchen table. Make your space a stress-free zone where you can concentrate.
2. Try to eliminate excess noise from family members, or nearby traffic, with noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Studies reveal that a delicate combination of smooth music joined with peaceful nature sounds—such as waterfalls, raindrops or ocean waves—stimulates the calming part of your brain, helps you concentrate and lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
3. Go to the same assigned place routinely, so your mind doesn't wander; you can focus on and increase your productivity. Establish psychological boundaries so you're not constantly reminded of temptations around you (there's chocolate cake in the fridge) or unfinished personal tasks—such as doing laundry, vacuuming, or organizing your spice rack—that otherwise could compromise your productivity. And complete these chores outside of work hours.
4. Set physical boundaries around your assigned workspace that is off-limits for family members. Handle it as if it's miles across town and ask house members to view it as such. Stick to a regular plan, and keep your workspace at arm's-length after hours. Try to maintain the same hours you log in at the office; so you don't get swallowed up by the workload.
5. After a hard and long workday, put aside your electronic gadgets. Having work reminders away from you helps you relax and recharge your batteries.
6. Discourage personal intrusions. Sometimes well-intended friends, family members, and neighbors think working at home is different. Interruptions and drop-ins can cause you to lose your focus, procrastinate, or get behind on a deadline. It's crucial to prevent intrusions into your workspace. By informing others that although the location of your job has changed; it is no different from any other profession requiring privacy and concentration. Notify others that during at-home work hours, you're unavailable and cannot be interrupted.
7. Use your video conferences more than you usually would, now that you're more isolated. Make sure you have your company's preferred software or devices set up and ready to go to stay connected with team members or office partners.
8. Avoid house-fever. Now that you're spending an excessive amount of time at home, get outside as much as possible. Research shows that spending time outdoors lowers stress, helps you relax, and clear your mind. Try taking a 20-minute walk during a lunch break or maybe even take the opportunity to get a short at-home workout in. You’ll reset your mind and refresh your focus with the change of scenery.
At the end of the day, an extra break here and there to enjoy your new-found flexibility isn’t the worst idea! Taking advantage of some of the benefits of working from home will help you keep a positive attitude about it all; something that is incredibly important during unique times like this. Just try to stick to some of the basics listed here in order to make sure that you ultimately stay as productive (and as sane) as possible!