The novel coronavirus has made millions of people start working from home. Up until a few months ago, the ability to work from home was just a distant dream for many, but now, with the world overtaken by Covid-19 restrictions, more and more people are finding themselves stationed at home. Companies and people are about to realize that employees who work from home are often even more productive so working from might be the new normalcy.
Work from home offers a lot of perks – businesses can save a lot on office leases, and employees can save on gas and may end up having more time to spend with the family instead of being stuck in traffic jams. While the list of positives goes on, the new normal is causing some frustrations too. Quite often, people who have worked all their lives from the office, are now struggling to be as productive because they find it hard to focus. We’ve created a list of tips and tricks that discuss how to limit distractions while working from home.
Get rid of the kids
Childcare is considered an essential business, so it is likely that even if the government school or daycare facilities are permanently closed, there are private businesses out there that can take care of your children. If having children around you distracts you, find a way to either leave them with a relative during the day or get them enrolled in a daycare facility that can help them continue their learning process. The last thing you want is to have children running around so you cannot do your job, nor give them enough time, so they feel left out.
Utilize tech to block digital distractions
If you are working from a company laptop or PC, your IT administrator most likely has already found a way to limit your access to webpages such as Facebook that can consume your time while working. If you are working from a computer that is not closely monitored by your employer, and you are struggling to keep your eyes off from your phone or social media websites, you can use apps that limit your screen time, send your reminders to get back to work, or block online distractions in general. There are plenty of solutions out there that can help you if you are lacking self-discipline or need a bit of help to increase your productivity.
Designate an office space
Even if you don’t have a whole room that you can designate for home-office use, creating a working space somewhere in your home is vital. Even if you have the tiniest desk from IKEA, at least you will know that this is now your office. While it may be tempting to get the laptop and work from the bed, you have to keep in mind that eventually this will come back and bite you as your bed is not meant for work, but for sleeping. If beds were a good idea to work from, your employer would have given you one already.
Play background music
Depending on the work you are doing, playing some music can be beneficial. If you are working on a task that requires your full attention, you may want to consider playing some smooth jazz that pleases your ears but does not consume your attention. If you are doing something repetitive, that does not require much of your attention, you may consider listening to music that can help you get through the tedious task. And if you only have an hour left until you can call it a day, you may want to listen to music that can help you transition to the next part of your day – pump-up gym music, or a Sunday morning music that can help you recover after the long day at work.
Learn to switch off and take rests
Probably the most critical part of learning to work from home productively is to be able to switch off from work. Many people feel tempted to continue working after hours. In most cases, the fact that you have not rested enough would usually result in lower quality work or ineffective work. If you cannot sleep well, you will be unable to be focused when you really have to. If you feel like taking a break, do it. And when the day is over, turn off your PC, leave your company cellphone in the drawer, and continue with your day. Do yourself and your company HR a favor and don’t work more than you are supposed to. Remember that unless you are a first-time-responder, the rest of the tasks you did not finish today are likely ok to be completed tomorrow.
Working from home can be a challenge but also a blessing. If you enjoy it, you keep doing what you are doing and always look for ways to increase your productivity without sacrificing your time and social life. And if you believe that it is a challenge – identify what the problems are and work with your employer to resolve them. And remember always to be vigilant – working from home can be a real pain as if you let your guard down you may end up being hacked. Hackers may not only steal your personal information, but they may go after the secrets of your employer, too – always use trusted antivirus software.