Millions of Americans are working from home in the current climate of social distancing brought on by Covid-19. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to be far more careful about our movements and interactions with others. It’s made for a uniquely complicated working arrangement that sets us the tasks of routine office work in a home setting that makes us want to kick back and relax. Small businesses and big enterprises alike are facing the squeeze of social distance, but the solutions are the same across industries and crafts. However, this makes for a unique situation for the worker who suddenly seems to have an outpouring of free time. The couch may seem like a great place to work on a sleepy Monday morning, but this quickly proves ineffective as the laziness sets in and forces a binge of Netflix programming instead of those reports that are due in a few hours.
Working from home can be a challenge, and many of us find ourselves looking for help on how to stay busy at home. This is especially true for those with children to care for as well. Turning your home into a quasi-office space is easier than you might think, and it can be done while maximizing comfort and productivity at the same time.
Dedicate time for breaks.
Working from home provides a unique burden that the office can eliminate. You may be struggling to separate lounging from working while you don’t have colleagues and supervisors breathing down your neck. Video chat is keeping offices both connected and in line with quarantine guidelines, but it just isn’t the same. The comforts of home are compelling, and it may be too much for some workers to ignore. Scheduling downtime is important in any workplace setting, but it’s crucial while working from home. Set aside an hour or two for breakfast or lunch, and build your day around that break instead of the other way around.
Scheduling your break time will give you something to look forward to and help you maintain focus on the tasks at hand during the morning and afternoon sessions of “office time.” This way, you can create incentives and opportunities to find success in your work-related tasks and budget time for watching TV, playing your guitar, or going for a run. Making time for fun activities can be a real productivity booster during the work-time allocation.
Maintain your home’s AC unit.
Air conditioning is something that’s often taken for granted, but when your AC is on the fritz, you can really feel the problem. Getting your air conditioning unit looked at by a professional technician is often a single afternoon job, and repair work can be done quickly and professionally by a contractor with years of experience. These problems are usually quick fixes but fall outside the scope of the layman’s ability. Leaving this to the professionals to remedy can get your home feeling comfortable and cooled once again in rapid time, allowing you to focus on the work at hand rather than your body temperature.
Get up and stick to your routine in the morning.
Working from home has changed the dynamics of your team’s interactions; this much is universally true. Zoom meetings have made interaction possible from a distance while also introducing some hilarity into the daily mix of tasks that we all encounter. These get-togethers often show colleagues in hoodies or at the kitchen table and have become staple images of this past year in various stages of lockdown.
Getting up at your normal time in the morning and dressing as if you were going into the office is a great way to boost your overall mood and productivity throughout the day. Retaining some semblance of normality is crucial to stay focused, happy, and on track with your work.
Staying comfortable and productive takes effort, but taking these steps to ensure that your home office is up to the task is easily accomplished and will help you stay focused through this difficult period.