Staying Productive at Home

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1. ROUTINES, PEOPLE

   Consistency is the key to productivity, friends. (We know you know.)

   “Try to start work around the same time each morning. Avoid being too relaxed with your hours, but also avoid working too much,” says SimpleNexus’ Ben Miller. “We find that for the most part, our employees are working well into the night and are having a hard time turning it off. We encourage people to be upfront and transparent in telling their co-workers that you’ll re-engage with them the next day.”

   Adds Goodwin Media’s Stewart Goodwin: “Emails, slacks, and new requests can come in 24/7, but that shouldn’t mean you need to be available all day and all night.”

2. DEDICATED SPACE

   Ten out of 10 recommend having a designated work space in your house. Having somewhere to go provides — you guessed it — consistency.

3. GET DRESSED

   Even if there are no Zoom meetings on the schedule, getting out of your pajamas can help kickoff your brain and put you in the work mindset. (Although, honestly? We’re a year into a global pandemic. We don’t judge. You do you.)

4. MAKE A TO-DO LIST

   Having a list of items you are committed to completing each day will help keep you on track.

5. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE

   “The most common frustrations from people who work from home is that their spouse or kids think they are fair game to play or help — and then they get frustrated when that’s not the case,” Goodwin says. “Working from home does provide opportunities to do things you normally wouldn’t be able to do in an office. For example, yesterday I went outside for 15 minutes with my 4-year-old to help her learn how to ride a bike, or I can cover for my wife if she needs to run to the store and leave the younger ones at home. The best scenario is when you can communicate what you need to get your job done, and your spouse can communicate their needs. Find a way to make it a win-win.”

6. DO NOT DISTURB

   “Get a ‘do not disturb’ indicator to help your family know when not to come in the office,” Johnson says. “This can be a light, a sign, a red clip, etc.”

7. VIRTUAL DO NOT DISTURB

   Same goes for your computer.

   “Turn off notifications and email if you need to be productive,” Goodwin says. “Communicate to team members with a custom slack status when you’re available, and make your productive work time sacred and distraction free.”

8. HEALTH MATTERS

   Take care of yourself, please.

   “Keep your body healthy; eat good foods; get sleep and exercise,” Miller says.

9. BREAK IT UP

   You’ve got to move it, move it.

   “Take breaks, take a lunch, and get up and move,” Miller says. “We are encouraging our employees to take a walk outside every day. It is too easy to just sit at your desk and work non-stop for 8 hours. At the office you used to get up to go to a conference room or walk over to talk with a colleague. We find a lot of people are just sitting in front of their computers on Zoom meetings all day long. That doesn’t seem very healthy.”

   Plus, breaks can help prevent burnout.

   “Longer ‘work days’ with more breaks is the perfect approach to remote work,” Johnson says.

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