7.5 Productivity Tips for Working from Home During COVID-19

By Sami Stansberry
As a self-proclaimed news junkie, Sami enjoys staying up-to-date on the latest stories of the day. When she's not brainstorming newsworthy angles for clients, you can find her cooking, traveling or making to-do lists.
 

The global spread and CDC recommendations around COVID-19 have us finding a new working normal, and for many this means working from home. In an effort to avoid public transportation, shared office spaces and crowded metro areas to practice social distancing – and prevent the spread of coronavirus – our teams must adapt to a new workspace: their living rooms.

To help us remain productive (and, let’s be honest, sane), we’ve compiled a few of our favorite productivity tips for working from home.

1. Start your day the right way with a morning routine

Set your alarm for your normal time. Get out of bed – AND make your bed! Shower and prepare for the day like you’re going into the office. Take the time you would have used to commute to make breakfast, organize your workspace and start the day as normally as possible. This puts you in a professional mindset and gets you out of your PJs while working from home (we know, it’s hard).

Hint: Never work from your bed! You need to separate your workspace from your relaxation space.

2. Consider video calls

One of our most social productivity tips: Make your next internal team call a video call, giving you and your team vital connection time, and helping you avoid getting lonely. Plus, it’s nice to see the faces you’re used to seeing daily in the office – it provides a sense of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time.

Spend the first few minutes of your meetings catching up with your colleagues, ask them how they are doing and dedicate that time for non-business-related conversation.

3. Block off time on your calendar for breaks

You don’t have to be glued to your computer 24/7 while working from home. In fact, by scheduling breaks every few hours, you’re going to return to work refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Take time each day to FaceTime friends and family, listen to music or just stand up and stretch – anything to make you happy! Ever heard of chair yoga? My personal favorite is to block off 30 minutes around lunch time to eat and catch up on the day’s news.

4. Get moving!

Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk or scheduling an on-demand workout, consider adding an opportunity to exercise every day. While a few of your favorite hobbies (professional sports games, going out to eat, etc.) may be suspended – exercise is not. Your mind will thank you for making your physical health and wellbeing a priority.

5. Organization is key

Keep your space, schedule and your mind as organized as possible. Do so by planning out your day (consider time blocking) and making lists. When writing your daily to-do list, try to tackle your larger and more timely projects first. Set goals and brainstorm a few rewards that will motivate you to remain productive.

6. Implement company-wide virtual events

Happy hour and office lunches don’t have to stop now that you’re working from home – just take them online! At SSPR, we’ve planned a few virtual events for our team to stay connected, keep morale high and remain productive.

Whether it be “Wine Wednesday,” virtual charades or a team lunch via video chat, it’s important to keep the company culture you’ve worked so hard to build.

7. Stick to your routine – as much as possible

Set your schedule for the day and stick to it. Decide a time that works for you and your team as a stopping point and step away from your computer. Just because you’re not physically “leaving” an office does not mean your personal life and wellbeing have to be put on hold while working from home.

When 6PM hits, shut the computer down, leave your temporary office space and disconnect.

7.5. When work is over, create a list of things you want to accomplish during this time

While it’s easy to feel like we’re in some sort of doomsday, take this time to find the silver lining and create a list of things you want to accomplish but have been putting off. Whether it be reading the books you’ve started and stopped for months or finally painting that guest bathroom, decide what you can do to make you feel productive outside of work.

This is uncharted territory for everyone. We’re in it together, and we will get through it. Take it one day at a time. Consider ordering delivery from your favorite local restaurant for lunch. Check in on your friends and family. Above all, be kind to yourself and others.

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