Working from home. 4 key tips to stay productive.

COVID-19 has forced many companies to ensure that their employees work from home. For many, remote work is a new reality, something they need to adjust to and possibly get used to.

Here are some tips for working remotely from the dot editorial team, to help you adjust to this new reality.

Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash

Whether it is done by choice or by necessity, working from home has its benefits but also its negatives, which we will refer to in another post. Avoiding your daily commute and working from a place that allows you to be as comfortable as you want is definitely among the positives. But the fact that it’s up to you to motivate yourself and spend as much time as you can in an office is one of the difficulties.

Here are four tips to help you stay responsible, cooperative, and productive as you work from home.

If possible create a defined workspace. This can help you tell yourself, in your brain, that you are in a productive space. Because in essence the way you will perceive your space and time is the one that will help you adapt and perform in the new conditions.

Tip 1: Help yourself get into your daily routine.

When you work in an office, the daily routine of preparing and moving helps you prepare for your workday. When working remotely, you can create “start the day” activators that prepare you for work in a similar way, such as exercise, reading the news, or coffee.

A workspace can also be the key. If you can sit back and be productive, it’s great. If you need more structure, creating a defined workspace – whether it is a separate room, a fully equipped desk, or just a clean part of your kitchen table – can help you to tell yourself that you are productively working without detachment.

About distractions: It’s one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. To stay focused on your work, avoid doing other activities at the same time, or arranging other and unrelated activities during your work. For example, put a washing machine on your break instead of interrupting what you are preparing for your work.

Tip 2: Motivate yourself with a list

A simple to-do list can work wonders to keep you organized and productive as you work from home. As you build your list, think of big, long-term goals, such as completing a project, and small goals, such as completing tasks that lead to that big goal. Controlling these smaller goals informs you that you are making progress and gives you positive reinforcement throughout the day. The effort you have to make to complete your big goal now consists of the steps that make its completion possible.

Write or type your list instead of having it in mind. You do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo.

Tip 3: Create a schedule for everything

Although you are the only accountant when working remotely, it is essential that you follow a schedule as in a typical office environment. This does not mean that your whole day should be just working (in fact, it is important to take regular breaks to refresh yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally), just that your non-professional obligations should also be planned. When creating your schedule, consider the other commitments in your life, and find a routine that allows you to take care of them as well. If e.g. if you have a child, incorporate their care into your schedule.

After defining your schedule, try to create a shared diary with your colleagues with constant information so that it is known (but also controlled by you mainly so that you do not end up working 20 hours a day) what are the working hours and what are your personal hours.

It is also a good idea to make sure your friends and family understand and respect your schedule. Set boundaries and expectations by letting them know that remote work does not mean you are free all the time.

Tip 4: Establish a collaboration process

Working from home may seem like a lonely experience, but it usually still involves interacting with others, whether it’s online meeting with your team, doing work or making decisions, or contacting a co-worker. Therefore, it is important to define ways of working while working remotely and to determine the means to use.

Face-to-face conversation can help you, work collaboratively with your team. While e-mail can be effective in receiving and transmitting information, if this is your main way of communicating with others, then very soon you will have a huge amount of mail to manage and also have space problems for maintaining this volume. In addition, it offers you absolutely no interpersonal contact.

If you need to ask a quick question or send a quick update to your team, chat apps like Google Hangouts or Slack are a good alternative to email.

Face-to-face conversation can often help you work with your colleagues and you by getting you out of your isolation. So you can choose one of the platforms that offer video conferencing either to meet one of your partners or to make a video conference with a group of your partners. An exchange of views or detailed discussions usually requires a meeting that can take place via video calls. It is also a great way to check in regularly with your team. This can help you stay aware of what others are doing and also help everyone maintain a relationship that could otherwise be neglected due to the lack of a common workplace.

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