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Some tips to help you stay productive while work from home

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced most companies to send their employees home. This can sound like a good chance to be more comfortable or more productive at home. For many, working from home seems like a great time to have freedom from work. But trust me, working from home is not as easy as it sounds.


Here is what I have learned from my personal experience working remotely over the years. One important tip is to stick to your normal routine that you’re used to at the office. You can also use some methods to improve your focus and cut out time-wasting distractions. (I have write article about 6 reason to transition your team to remote work)


Get ready for the day

I prepare for the day like I normally would as if I’m going to the office. This helps me get into “work mode” as opposed to “weekend mode.” For example, If I start my routine like it’s a Saturday morning, my brain gets used to that weekend habit and I unconsciously do things that aren’t productive. As a result, my work is affected and my tasks are completed slower than it should be. By getting ready for a work day, I find myself being more productive for the rest of the day as if I’m physically working at the office. I set my mind right after waking up, brush my teeth, and go through my normal routine to be ready for the day.


Exercise in the morning 

Research shows that exercising in the morning helps increase productivity. If you normally exercise in the morning, keep it up and continue what you’re already doing. Otherwise, this is a good time to start a new, healthy habit and make it part of your healthy morning routine. For example, go for a brisk walk or run after breakfast. If you do not prefer to go out, try some bodyweight workouts inside your house to help get your blood flowing.


Wear work dress

Many people find that the brain works better when we maintain the routine of our typical work day. How you feel and see yourself each day is part of your work routine. When I wear something not too loose or too casual, I feel more productive. Because when you look good, you feel good too and that can make you be more productive. You don’t have to wear your typical slacks, tie, or other type of work dress but something a little more formal for the house can help a lot. This might include your watch, socks, shoes, or perfume depending on what makes you feel formal. When I’m a bit more formal, I can feel more professional too.


Clean your work desk

Everyone dreams of working on a comfortable sofa at home. But in reality, a work desk is the best place to be more productive. This is why we have a desk called a “work desk.” The most productive time comes from my work desk at my work space. If your work space doesn’t capture enough light, you can add a lamp to lighten up your space. Light will make you feel more active when you are thinking and planning or writing stuff.


Tun & Mark at our work desk
Tun & Mark at our work desk


Set a timer and mute all notifications

People who work from home are certain that they will be more productive. They imagine no one distracting them but in reality that’s usually not the case. When you do your work at home, you will find that you have a lot of distractions. Distractions may not just come from humans. They come in the form of your things and surroundings.

This happens because at work you don’t have to worry about anything, just work. But at home your things can distract you very easily. Distractions including PlayStation, your refrigerator, laundry, or you may even get distracted by your own bed. This can especially happen if you live in a small room or work close to your bed. Sometimes you may just want to lie down in bed to change positions. Some of us may know that this will lead us to just falling asleep. 

You need to set a timer to not do anything else other than the task you’re currently focused on until the alarm sounds. This way I keep myself in focus longer and stronger. I just set up 50 minutes of work and during that time I turn off all notifications on the phone and on the computer. I will not do anything until after work time and I have some time to relax or do some other things for 10 minutes. It can be a short break such as going for a walk.


Set goals

Planning is very important. Planning out your work at this point is very important because you can get off track very easily. When you wake up you should have your clear goal to know what you have to finish. You can set up your daily goals and also weekly goals.

Getting up and thinking about what to do everyday is something you should not do at all. The best way is to set up a monthly goal and break it down to weekly goals and again break it down to smaller tasks for every day of the week.


Set expectations

Let your team know how long you may take to reply to email or text. Let them know what time or how long you need to work on your tasks. They may need a reply from you to complete their task. It’s also helpful if they know when to expect to hear from you. 

Also, many of us have people in our house such as a family member or a flatmate. It’s good to let them know you are working and to ask them to not to distract you too much. Make sure they are aware that you need to focus on your work even though you’re staying at home for the day.


The most important thing is go outside

After I spend some time working remotely with a previous company and also with Squiqr, I have experienced feelings of loneliness from remote working. If you don’t set a boundary, it will be very blurry. My solution is to set office hours. After I finish work, I go out to socialize or participate in social activities. Sometimes I go to exercise or I join friends at a nightclub or I get involved with other things where I can meet and talk to people. 

This can help you be healthy in the long term from this work from home lifestyle. Keep the balance between being with yourself and being with other people. It is opposite from office work. You want to be able to go back home and relax in a quiet place. But when you work remotely, I recommend going out to a place where there’s a chance to socialize and meet with other people.


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