By Kerstin Woods
I always thought the idea of working from home was ideal. Turns out the option to work from home is great but being required to comes with many challenges.
By losing the workplace environment, it’s easy to lose the structure and discipline it demanded. Here are some tips that help me stay focus and productive:
My issue with working from home is that I can work all day long, in the same spot, without any movement. I need to force myself to get up regularly and walk around my house, look away from my screen (it’s healthy for your eyes) and get some air.
In the office, you naturally move across longer distances – to the conference room, lunchroom, restroom, etc. You need to be aware that those natural steps don’t happen anymore and create some yourself.
#2. Set Goals and Hold Yourself Accountable
Your boss might not be there to see when you arrive to the office or leave, but that doesn’t matter.
YOU need to hold yourself accountable.
If you don’t have clear goals, work with your manager to set some. And, check off your list each day/each week.
Nothing is worse than letting things slide because you don’t “feel” the same sense of oversight, only to find out that you missed a deadline or your boss pops-up and wants to see your progress.
A good manager will check for progress randomly along the way – don’t be caught behind. I start each day with a list of what I hope to accomplish and check them off as I go.
You’ll actually be pleased to find that with fewer distractions, your list might go faster than you expected. But, if you aren’t tracking any of it, the day won’t feel like much of a win – and we all need some personal victories these days.
#3. Stay Connected
You lose the natural hallway comradery of working in an office when you are at home. But, with all the amazing modern tools available to you, it’s easy to stay connected.
Pick up the phone. Use video cams on your conference calls. Setup ways for your teams to text or chat online.
Think of the ways you feel connected to your friends or family (do you do video calls, do you text, do you call?) and replicate those for your work efforts.
For introverts, this will not be a natural thing to do, and you might end up feeling less engaged. For extroverts, this will be critical to staying engaged, motivated and not isolated.
Either way, we all need it, we just need to be more deliberate about it.
Managers – you also need to put your personal style aside and step back to see what the individual members of your team will need to stay engaged.
We are doing our best to create social distancing, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be anti-social – be social, just be virtual!
With so many changes to our daily routines, I hope this helps bring some consistency and keeps you motivated through these challenging times.
Stay healthy, stay positive, and stay productive.