Now that many employees all over the world are working remotely, creating a plan to work from home effectively is more important than ever. If your company was anything like mine, one day you are in the office and by the end of the week, you’re packing up equipment and heading home to work. While working from home is the one perks that my organization did not offer, I always imagined that it would be something that would be amazing to experience: roll out of bed and right into “the office”, no bad hair/hijab days and pants are not required. Working from home requires some planning and rearranging of spaces to create the perfect environment to be effective and productive.
- Shed Some Light – A room that has natural light will not only increase your productivity but also improve your mood. A bright room with supplemental light will help your eyes and increase focus. ProTip: I removed the curtains and frosted the bottom half of this window for increased privacy and less visual distraction.
- Limit Distractions– If your room or work area has a door, this is a perfect way to limit many distracting sounds, however; if this is not possible, you can try the following:
- Search “productivity music” on your Alexa device, Spotify or download productivity apps that include ‘white noise’.
- Create a ‘cone of silence’ by shifting noisy activities and people to the opposite side of the house during your work time.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones to drown out sounds. No need to even turn them on.
- Spruce Up Your Space– Clear your work space of all visual distractions and clutter. Include only the essential items on table tops. Try adding a plant or flower to your work area to add natural beauty without taking up much space.
- Timing is Everything – Just because you work eight hours a day doesn’t mean that your work-from-home hours must be from 9 to 5. Schedule your work during the times that make sense for you. You can make phone calls first thing in the morning when people and business are most likely available, schedule deep work during quietest part of the day and your most alert hours and leave the latter part of the day for callbacks, followups and email.
Mom and Dad on duty
If you have little ones at home, finding a quite place to take a call or have virtual meeting may seem impossible. Schools are no longer open but instructors are providing work for students that may require some of your assistance. If you haven’t realized it already, teaching is a very tough job and takes patience and skill. The coming days will put you to the test, but you can do it! Most important, provide a predictable and comforting environment for your kids that allows them to work when you do.
- Set your kids up in a room that is quiet and bright (and if possible, away from your work space).
- Schedule work that they can perform unassisted to coincide with your virtual meetings, phone calls and deep think work.
- Ask kids to work up until they run into a problem they can’t solve and skip ahead. Having them batch their problems together and save them to the end reduce the frequency of disruptions.
- Don’t forget to allow for regular breaks every hour, snack time and lunch. Just because there’s no bell doesn’t mean you can’t be timely. Use a timer or countdown clock so kids know how much time is left.
Remember that changes to routines take time to become established. Be flexible with yourself and others in order to reduce frustrations. If you can’t finish work uninterrupted, break up your day into chucks. You may only have two hours in the morning, but have three hours in the afternoon and three in the evening. This is new to many of us and we have to be forgiving of ourselves and patient, it will take time. We are all in this together.
If you would like to work with me on productivity solutions, goal-setting and creating a positive mindset, please reach out Contact Me