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Bring the Office to You: 5 Tips for Working From Home

by Esther Bendayan  |  March 19, 2020

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, many companies including Sephora, Lululemon and even Apple have closed their stores in an effort to protect their employees and community. Many head offices have implemented a work-from-home policy in support of social distancing. For many staff members, this may be their first experience working away from the office and their coworkers. Here are some tips to boost motivation and encourage productivity while working remotely.

1. Make a schedule

A to-do list will help you focus on the tasks that must be completed by the end of the day. Adding too little or too many tasks, however, may make your day daunting thereby increasing laziness. The Ivy Lee Method can help you avoid this. To practice this method, make a list of the six most important things you want to accomplish the next day. These should be organized in order of importance, and you should always have exactly six tasks. This 100-year-old method helps boost productivity by encouraging you to focus on the tasks that are most important without becoming overwhelmed.

2. Create a work space

While you may be tempted to set up your home office in your comfy bed, this is not the best idea. Working from a desk or table will make you feel like you’re actually “going to work.” Working from a desk will keep you from getting fatigued early on in the day and will help you maintain your “office” routine.

3. Schedule breaks

When making your daily schedule, you may neglect to fit in a lunch break. Don’t! It’s important to take this time to recharge your body and mind. Skipping breaks will make you feel overwhelmed with your tasks and you’ll certainly get less work done. You can even set an end time to ensure your break isn’t longer than it would be at the office.

4. Stay in contact with your coworkers

Feelings of loneliness are more common when working from home. The lack of interaction with colleagues and even the lack of a commute can make a lot of people feel disconnected. These feelings can be avoided with consistent connection with your colleagues. Team meetings should continue to occur as scheduled using GoToMeeting or Zoom. Facetime and WhatsApp can also be helpful for group chats and face-to-face conversations when you need feedback or just to laugh.

5. Set boundaries

Boundaries are personal and should be set according to what makes you feel the most comfortable. When working from home, it’s easy to get distracted. The most important thing is that you maintain the same rules you have at the office. If you wouldn’t blast music near your coworkers, don’t do it in your living room. If you wouldn’t wear a robe to a meeting, don’t wear one when working from home.

Virtual meetings and working remotely may be new to many of us. The workplace (and even world!) is changing dramatically. Luckily, we’re equipped with tools and resources to be able to tackle this challenge and maintain our productivity from anywhere.

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