How to Stay Productive When You're Working at Home
Let’s face it: this pandemic has been going on for quite some time, and most of us (the lucky ones who can, that is) are still working from home these days to do our part in helping to contain the spread of Covid-19. While working from home certainly has its positives - such as skipping rush hour - there are times that the isolation can take a toll on your motivation, add distractions, and hinder communication. That doesn’t mean we can’t work around these negatives! The team here at Caveman have been trying out new strategies to try and make this time as productive, if not more productive, than our normal routine of working together at the Caveman office. Here are a few the team has had success with.
- Keep a routine: Establishing a schedule for work is easy when you have to be in the office by a certain time, but when working from home it can be super tempting to roll out of bed, grab your laptop, and sit on the couch in your PJs. Fight it! Try to set an alarm clock for the same time every day, shower and dress, eat breakfast, and then sit down to work as if social distancing was never part of our vocabulary. Plus, treat it like a casual friday: get dressed in semi-normal work attire but skip the suit and tie; it’ll trick your mind into getting prepared for the day.
- Have a dedicated workstation: Fight the urge to sit on your couch, or stay in bed. Unlike, or perhaps similarly to, working in an office most people’s homes are rife with distractions. Parents will know that this is especially true if you have children. Knowing this, it’s really important to set boundaries between work and home life, not just for your productivity but for your sanity. For some, this means making sure pets & kids stay away from your workstation, for others it means working in a room that doesn’t have a TV in it. Whatever you are personally distracted by, make sure you can eliminate that element from your workspace.
- Regularly check-in with coworkers: Not so fun fact: we’re all social creatures, and having a lack of socialization can literally lead to depressive symptoms. Social isolation is something all of us are struggling with in our own ways; so even if it’s not entirely work-related, make sure to check in with your team members on a daily basis. Try using virtual video conferencing like when possible, as teleconferencing can never replace face-to-face interaction. Communication can be challenging even when you’re sitting right next to someone. You can even have a virtual happy hour with your co-workers on Fridays! Making the extra effort while working from home will not only benefit your productivity, but it may just help a bit in curbing your social distancing blues.
- Know when to log off: This is related to #2, make sure you have clearly defined work/life boundaries. Now that you’re working from home, it can be a bit tougher to leave the office and get some fresh air. Establishing your normal work hours can do a few things for you - it will help your loved ones know when they can have your undivided attention, help you focus during working hours, and perhaps most importantly, relax once the work day is over. Reducing stress is more important than ever now, according to clinical immunologist Leonard Calabrese DO, “stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores.” So do what you need to do to reduce that stress and make sure you aren’t taking your work out of your office and into the rest of your home!
This pandemic has been incredibly disruptive worldwide but if you are lucky enough to be able to work from home it doesn’t have to derail your productivity at work. Test these strategies out and let us know how you do, or even better send us some strategies that work well for you! As usual, Stay safe and healthy Cave-fans, we all in this together.
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