Updated: Aug 11
As someone who works from a coworking space you probably know what it feels like to work from home, and you probably joined a coworking space to get away from the distractions you face there. During this time you might feel like regressing but instead focus on healthy ways to transition back into working from home. After doing some research I have found some of the most helpful tips for working from home. Although I don’t have my own company I empathize with you all as I now have to move my school work online. I have never been good with online school especially being at home due to all the distractions. How am I supposed to focus on my 10 page paper when my bed is a foot away and my roommates are watching our favorite TV show in the next room? Below I have compiled some of the most helpful tips and tricks I have found for starting my new life as an online worker.
1. Have a separate space for work and play.
The same reason I like to go to coffee shops to do homework, it's familiar in an unfamiliar way. Try to find a space that is for work only with little to no outside distractions. This will allow you to zero in on the work that needs to be done. Sam Mallikarjunan of the hubspot blog says "Have a place you go specifically to work. It could be a certain table, chair, -- some place that's consistently your 'work space.' It helps you get into the right frame of mind."
2. Set a schedule / stay organized
Sometimes you get so sucked into what you’re doing you are unaware of how much time has passed and while working at home you no longer have the social ques of going to lunch, so setting a schedule to follow is the best way to stay on track for your work, your mind and your body.
3. Start Early
This piece of advice showed up the most while researching. Lindsey from the hubspot states: “When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more jarring. Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you'll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.”
4. Save calls for the afternoon
James Gilbert of the hub blog spot recommends using the earlier hours in the day to get through meaty projects without distractions and then use your slower hours in the afternoon for any calls. This will help you be most effective with your day.
5. Take healthy breaks
This has been the hardest part for me as I accomplish one task and immediately reward myself with a snack from the fridge which leads to putting away dishes then checking my phone and next thing I know I'm halfway into a new TV series. Try and organize timely breaks that include doing something healthy for the mind. This can include going outside to get some fresh air and clear the mind or even reading a chapter from your new book, something to get your mind off work but not too far.
6. Don't handle personal tasks during “office hours”
This may seem impossible, especially for those with families at home, but it is essential in order to keep a productive work environment. Starting your laundry and then getting back to work might seem like a simple task but as soon as your brain begins to multitask you lose track of the main goal. Instead what I have been doing is keeping a separate to-do list of personal things I need to accomplish and anytime something pops in my head I write it down and put it aside for later. By the end of the day you’ll have a pile of chores but hey, it's quarantine what else are you going to do?
7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
As gyms and studios close down for this pandemic it might seem difficult to get out and exercise but even a little bit of bodily movement is encouraged to get blood movement into the brain. I recommend some at home yoga. You can follow youtube lessons and you'll find that even just 30 minutes a day will have you more limber and more motivated for the day. Other activities may include going for a run or doing at home workouts with weights or machines.
8. Branch out
You are not alone in this process and if you have any problems, reaching out can be a good way to keep your network involved along with your sanity. Keep in touch with your coworkers as they may need it more than you may think.
9. Make it harder for yourself to branch out on social media
This is one of my biggest distractors and for that reason I often leave my phone in another room. Alec from the hubspot says “To counteract your social networks' ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and, according to Fast Company, log out of every account. You might even consider working primarily in a private or, if you're using Chrome, an "Incognito" browser window. This ensures you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search you conduct doesn't autocomplete the word you're typing. It's a guarantee that you won't be tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day.”
10. Communicate expectations to anyone who will be around you
Sam mentions "If anyone else is going to be at home when you're working, they just have to be clear that when you're in your 'office' (in my case, my signal to the family is having headphones on), you're working -- even if it looks like and feels like you're hanging out at home. It's easy to get distracted by the many things that have to be done around the house during the day."