For those of us who are fortunate to have companies and jobs with the means to provide remote work opportunities, working from home has become the new normal throughout the duration of the COVID-19 quarantine, which has just been extended for the month of April.
Working from home can be difficult, given that there’s not the same incentive to focus without an office environment and co-workers. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are five ways to feel more productive while you work (or take classes!) from home during the quarantine.
1. Dress Your Best
Just because you aren’t going to your office physically and aren’t required to dress business casual, doesn’t mean you need to wear your pajamas all day to work from home. Waking up early, showering, and getting ready for the day can and will help you to push yourself to be more productive throughout your day. No, a suit isn’t necessary— but putting on one of your favorite sweaters or blouses, or a pair of (real) pants can up productivity and make you feel like you’re in the office… even when you’re not.
2. Wake up at your Regular Hours
Just because all you have to do is roll out of bed and open your laptop, doesn’t mean you should. Wake up at the same hour as you normally would, and try to recreate your routine. If it’s a nice day, get out and go for a walk around your block to energize your body and your mind— make a coffee and have breakfast. Try to mimic your routine to the best of your ability before you begin work.
3. Set up an “office” somewhere in your house.
Working in bed won’t necessarily help your productivity. Rather, it will promote lackadaisical attitudes and make work more difficult. Even if it’s on your kitchen counter or in your living room, set up your laptop somewhere with good lighting— near a window, if possible, and coffee. Try and make yourself feel as though when you get up from bed you are going somewhere to do work, not just staying in your room.
4. Don’t work through the day
Take breaks, just as you would in your office. Whether that means setting aside a lunchtime to watch an episode of TV or listen to a podcast, taking a walk or making a cup of tea or coffee, if you try and work through your whole day without stopping, you’ll exhaust yourself and feel claustrophobic and stressed.
5. Find something to look forward to!
When you’re done working from home (or taking a class from home), plan a Zoom or Facetime happy hour with coworkers or friends, take a walk, call a family member, or try out a new recipe for dinner. You should continue to promote socializing and energizing, even after a long day of working from your kitchen table.