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5 Tips for Working from Home

Published from CareerWise Colorado.

Working from Home Productivity Tips

Our workforce has drastically shifted in the past few days as our nation joins together to slow the spread of COVID-19. As schools cancel and companies across the country ask employees to work remotely, people’s homes are starting to look more like headquarters. And while remote work and distance learning has become more mainstream in the past few years, it’s a new concept to many.

So how can you make sure you are productive during your time at home?  


Create a schedule 

Structure is key! Whether you are balancing school and work, or work and child care… or like so many of us, you’re balancing a little bit of everything, creating a schedule before jumping into your day helps to stay accountable. 


7:00-8:00 Wake up & take personal time (workout, eat breakfast, play with kids or siblings etc.) 

8:00-8:30 Shower, get dressed, and set up workspace 

8:00-8:30 Emails, to-do lists, block out time for each task (and remember, things often take longer than expected!)

8:30-9:30 Grind time

This is an example of the time you blocked out for a task. Focus this time (whether it’s an hour, or 30 minutes or however long you think that task will take) on being able to mark that task as complete.  

9:30-9:40 Break

Treat yourself! You just knocked out one of your to-dos! Breaks are important, especially when you don’t have the social interaction of the office. Breaks could include making a quick snack, stretching or getting the blood flowing, stepping outside or texting family and friends. 

Continue this pattern throughout the day. 

During this time, you will most likely have fewer meetings or distractions from colleagues, thus you get to be a little more flexible about how you spend your time. So think about your work style. Are you more productive in the morning and more creative in the afternoon? You can set up your schedule to meet your work style needs. 

Keep our schedule in front of you at your workspace, so you can keep track of what you have completed. Seeing those checks on the checklist has never felt so good! 


Set up your space 

Setting up a semi-permanent space where you know you can be productive is crucial to your productivity. There are a few things you need to think about when selecting a space. But, the fun part is: it’s all up to you! 

  • How much space do you require? Does the small desk in your room cut it, or do you need to spread out at the kitchen table?  
  • Are there other people around your house? Do you need to be isolated to be productive or can you have others around and still get things done?
  • What supplies do you need? Think about this beforehand so you aren’t spending time searching for a pen or scissors mid-project. Use a cup or mug to store your necessary office supplies, so they are close when you need them. 
  • Where is the internet the strongest in your house? You may have more video calls than normal, so be sure to check technology before settling down and logging on. 
  • Where is the best natural light? Especially in times like this where we are spending more time inside than usual, it is important to have access to some natural light. A little sunlight can do wonders for your mood and productivity. 


Dress to Impress

Believe it or not pajamas don’t promote productivity. While you don’t have to go as far as business casual, it is important to get out of your comfy clothes. First of all because you may have video calls with colleagues, but research shows even when working from home, taking pride in your appearance increases productivity. 


Leverage Your Camera 

If you are used to having in-person meetings with your colleagues, virtual work can be a big adjustment and can often feel isolating. However, small things like turning on your camera during virtual meetings can increase your connection and make you feel less isolated and more accountable during meetings. Also, don’t be afraid to make a little small talk during these meetings, it keeps your teams feeling connected and connection is so important in times when we have to be physically distant.  


Schedule Time for Yourself 

Staying inside all day and trying to balance your current challenges can take a toll on you both mentally and physically. When you are planning your schedule, plan time to do things that you enjoy or activities that boost your productivity. Even a short walk in the middle of the day can make all of the difference in refreshing your mind and boosting your mood.