Working From Home: How to stay productive

Tips to stay productive

COVID-19  may have taken a big bite out of certain activities. Yet there are still a lot of fixed tasks that simply have to be performed. Please find 8 tips to stay productive while working from home. 

1. Work on the basis of output

Working from home offers a lot of freedom and flexibility. Agree on clear results;  Make agreements in advance with your manager and colleagues about the results. Be transparent;  What are you going to work on today? Who will be responsible for handling customer "x". Communicate in the team, this way you can step in and make adjustments faster. Keep your calendar up to date;  keep a record of your tasks and what you have completed.

2. Provide a distraction-free work environment

If you want to work productively (from home), you will have to design your workplace as consciously as possible. It is quite difficult to draw up a serious report when you hear the TV in the background. Therefore, find a secluded place or create one if necessary. Treat your work room, or if necessary kitchen table, as a professional workplace.

Avoid slouching on the couch working on that report. Provide a good (desk) chair, a well-arranged monitor and a sturdy desk or work table. Use a noice cancelling headset and silence your phone by also turning off notifications.

2. Choose the right (communication) tools 

It is usually easy to pop into an office to check how things are going. However, when the majority of people working from home, you will soon have to rely on other forms of communication. Use Google Drive to share and collaborate in documents. This way you and your team can react in real time and work in a synchronised way. Todoist or Asana is a godsend to manage projects during the home working period.Would you like to give a short response or ask a question? Use Signal or the chat in Teams.

3. Monitor your work - life balance

The work is never finished. The telephone is ringing off the hook and appointments with customers must be rescheduled. It is therefore useful to define working hours to some extent and to draw up guidelines. For example, plan to start an hour earlier, so that you can work in peace while your children are still sleeping. Or end your working day a little earlier if you notice that your concentration is lost.

4. Take breaks

Take short breaks, get some fresh air or talk through the day while enjoying a cup of coffee. It is important to regularly interrupt your work while working from home. Every 90 minutes, preferably 15 minutes. This not only pleases your concentration, it also increases your creativity and decision-making.

5. Set limits on private incentives

Just do some laundry in between or tidy up the attic; now that you work from home, you can easily pick up a number of household tasks in between.  “Would I do this if I were in the office now?” If the answer is no, do this job at a later time - as soon as your work tasks are done or when you have a day off.

6. Make agreements

In addition, it is wise to make clear agreements. Your partner and immediate environment will understand, however children will experience this as a strange sensation. Explain to them that although you are all home now, this is not the same as the summer or Christmas vacation. You just have to work and therefore cannot play with them. However, once you are done with that, you will want to make a puzzle with them or build a tent.

7. Provide plenty of entertainment for your children

Normally, you are cautious about the amount of television or screen time you allow your children. It is quite something: you want to be as productive as possible and not let your work suffer. At the same time you take care of your children. To successfully combine the two, you might quickly reach for a tablet.

8. Don't lose sight of communication

We will all have to pay attention to each other. This certainly applies to family and friends, but don't lose sight of your colleagues either. Because even though we work from home, you remain part of a team. Contact your team members at least every day. Even if it's ten minutes; assessing how the other is doing contributes to the group feeling. That makes working from home a lot less lonely!

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