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Work from home Do’s & Don’ts to stay productive

4 min read | By: David Brown, CEO of Hays U.S. on April 9th, 2020

Everyone has their own way of working and it’s important to find out what works best for you and stick to it. The art of working from home efficiently takes some time to master, but these do’s and don’ts will help you stay productive while you work from home.

DO’s

Use your morning for meditation

Take some “you” time each morning to clear your mind and mediate. This is a great way to start your morning on the right foot and will help you feel ready to take what’s to come in your day. Even try putting on a face mask or an eye cream to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Take this time to reflect, and try not to use your phone or login to your laptop. Really use this time to disconnect and focus on you and set your intentions for tasks you want to get done throughout the day.

Act like you’re going into work

When you are working from home act as if you are going into the office and structure your day like you usually would. The association between work and an office can make you more productive, so it’s important to see your at home working space just like your work office. This helps prevent you from feeling lazy and may not give you the push to work as hard. Since you are your own manager at home, it is important to hold yourself accountable for completing tasks on time, regardless of your working environment. To avoid burn out, be sure to take breaks periodically. This would resemble in-person meetings that usually break up your time while you’re in the office.

Plan out each day

Work backwards – this means look at your due dates and assess how long it will take you to do each task. Once that’s complete, plan out your day in sections so that you focus on one task at a time. Have focused work time so that you can focus and give your all to one task instead of spreading yourself thin. Set out time to answer emails, brainstorm, work on specific projects etc. To help you, try setting timers for each task so that you ensure you dedicate enough time to get things completed. Setting reminders can even help you know when it’s time to shift gears and start something new.

Close off your day the same way you start it

Just like you start your day with a routine, be sure to end your day the same way. Get into the habit of creating a routine that signals the closing of your workday. This could be in the form of logging off of your business communication systems like skype, closing your laptop, going for a walk, listening to a podcast or doing a workout. Choose what works best for you, but ensure that you do it consistently to mark the end of your work day.

DON’TS

Work from your bed

There are no boundaries when you work on your bed. When you do this, sleep, working and relaxing can become blurred together. Your bed is somewhere you go to unwind, which isn’t a good recipe for productivity. Try to create a designated place that acts as your home working space or even office. A good place would be somewhere with bright lighting (natural lighting is preferred) and is clutter free because nobody wants to work in a messy space.

Forget to prioritize “me” time

Be sure not to blur the lines between “work” and “home”. In some cases you might be glued to your computer screen for a long period of time, but make sure to set time aside for yourself. When you’re creating your calendar, schedule in times to make healthy meals and exercise– fueling your body will keep you focused and productive. Try incorporating morning exercises into your routine like floor work, or go for a walk or run. Consistently keeping your body moving will prevent you from feeling lethargic from the work day.

Limit communication with your team

Getting used to working from home can be challenging at first, but it is important to remain in communication with your team on a regular basis. This will help you feel connected to your colleagues even though you are not fact-to-face in the office. Video conferencing is a great way to see everyone’s face and “chit chat” can help keep the team spirit alive. If you’re dialing in, be sure to announce yourself to the group so that your team knows you have joined. Also, don’t be afraid to participate in calls and share your ideas - just as if you were in a physical meeting. Keeping in constant communication will help you feel less isolated, get tasks done faster and let’s your team know what areas they can provide support in.

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