With the new coronavirus pandemic getting 3 billion inhabitants of the planet in lockdown, working from home will be more in the norm than the privilege of a few. A lot of corporations and organizations of all sizes experience the important advantages of letting their employees stay out of the office: no commute, no traffic, no driving fatigue, fewer expenses, more flexibility, etc. However, it does take some effort and organization to stay productive while working from your house, that is, a place that was not designed for this. Seekncheck is a fully remote team. We all work from home and know the challenge of staying productive and fighting distractions. Here are a few tips from our experience that we think could help.
1. Design your spot
Not everybody can dedicate an entire room of their house to be their home office. The good news is, you don’t have to! All you need is a spot that you can clearly identify as your work sanctuary. Yes, I did say sanctuary because this is what it needs to be: a spot that clearly differs from the rest of the house, and that puts you in “productivity mode” as soon as you get to it. Thus, you can not let this be any place your mood dictates you at the moment. It is essential that you deliberately design it.
2. Watch your view
I’m pretty sure you are the discipline type and have strong willpower. But everyone has these moments of weakness, right? Having your work sanctuary facing the TV or the window overlooking your busy street, will definitely not help in these moments. So, as much as possible, clear your work spot view from any distraction cues.
3. Take real breaks
Breaks are essential to productivity. We all know that. However, it seems that we are not always comfortable with really stopping everything and taking some time for ourselves. It’s important to think long term here. “Qui veut voyager loin ménage sa monture”, n’est-ce pas ? Working from home needs to be a positive thing in your life, not a possible another burden. Taking breaks just as you would do with your colleagues in a regular workplace, is critical. Go take a walk outside, take some time to cuddle your pet, meditate, watch an episode of your favorite show. Anything… Just make sure not to mix that with your work spot. Your brain needs to link this spot, well, with work. So, work hard, play harder… just not in the same place.
4. Optimize for focus
All of this is about making the most of your working time. It is all about getting more work done in the same amount of time, if not less. Focus is critical for this. There are a lot of great tools out there to help you stay concentrated and get things done. Use them and find the ones that work best for you.
5. Always on time
One of the challenges of working from home is to be disciplined about time. Starting time, breaks time, ending time… It is impossible to work every waking hour while being productive. You need to clearly frame your work time because we, humans, are more effective in maintaining our focus when we know our time is limited. Be obsessed about the time you start as well as the time you shut down the computer and set “work mode” off.
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