Tips to successfully working from home

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As COVID-19 continues to affect everything in our lives, from social gatherings to the limited number of disinfectant cleaners once easily accessible on the market, all of us have been learning how to live in this new normal. During this time, companies across the nation have taken action to distance their employees for their safety, and have them work from home in order to help flatten the curve and keep their employees safe.

 

working from home has its own challenges

Many people have always dreamt about working in the comfort of their own home to eliminate commuting, having the comfort of your own space, and to allow for more  family time (Bonus: you don’t need to wear pants!) But what they don’t know is that working from home isn’t all it's hyped up to be; it may seem like the best option, but it's actually the most challenging. Whether it’s something you see that needs tidying up at home, or that Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch again to know what happens next, you’ll find everything looks more appealing than your work to-do list. You need every effort to stay productive at home and block out all the distractions surrounding you. 

We at STOR-X have compiled a list of our office staff’s tried methods of how to maximize our working from home productivity. 

 

Get set up 

The ideal is having an office space that you can shut the door on at the end of the day and focus on other things, but the reality is we may not all have access to that luxury. We are set up at the island in our kitchen, or have borrowed our kid’s desk and put it into the playroom. Regardless of where you're seated, ensure it's in a proper chair, and that you have space around you to be as efficient as possible. Find a space in your home where you can get set up and comfortable to associate that with your job and then put it away when you’re off the clock. 

 tips for working from home

 

Take the time to get ready 

And no, we don’t mean take your time to get out of bed and pick an outfit. We mean take the time to do your regular morning routine that you would as if you were going to the office. Normally the commute to work is the time that really wakes you up to start the work day, but working remotely from home means you just have to get your butt out of bed and on the chair at your desk. If you set your alarm to the normal time you would usually wake up to get ready to go to the office, this will allow you to take your time to make your coffee, cook breakfast and get dressed (even if it’s only the upper half), this will wake you up gradually and make it easier to get to your desk and get to work (makeup optional).

 

Have a Plan 

At the start of your day or once you’re having your first sip of coffee, list out all the things you need to do: that includes meetings, tasks, questions to ask, and projects to complete. It’s okay if you can’t finish everything in one day, just having everything listed out gives you an idea of where to start, and once you get going, you’ll be able to see which direction to go and what to do next. We suggest tackling the easiest tasks first because you’ll get a lot more done and see yourself checking more off your to-do list. Be sure to also set reminders  a couple minutes before any conference meeting calls, that way if you were working on something you won't lose track of time and be late to the party! Online meetings are all we have at this time, so punctuality is of even greater importance. If you are running behind due to overlap, let the meeting organizer or attendees know prior to the meeting time. Once you check something off your list make sure to take a mini 5-10 minute break to reward yourself. Try playing with your pet for a bit, stepping outside to get some air or even making a small snack. This will give your brain some rest and boost endorphins doing something you enjoy. See below for a copy of our Action Plan worksheet to stay organized! 

 

Find a buddy 

It may or may not be easier to be productive without chatty coworkers nearby, however social interactions can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. During this time, being told it’s safest to maintain a social distance has reduced the amount of interactions we’re used to having on a regular basis. Not being able to go to the office, or out to eat and meet up with friends can sometimes feel like you’re alone with nowhere to go. But finding a buddy who’s in the same position as you can help keep you productive, or just lighten the mood by sending memes or a friendly reminder that they’re not alone. We recommend a friend or family member who also has to work from home, or an officemate who you can collaborate with and keeps you accountable. For something fun to consider, we have heard of some offices doing virtual team lunches, giving you the space to share frustrations, challenges, and ideas to help you feel less alone during this time. Lately, at STOR-X we have enjoyed reading posts from www.thehappybroadcast.com to get positive updates on COVID-19, as it’s helped us remember that with patience and cooperation, we can get through this together, one day at a time!