The Secret to Staying Productive While Working From Home
Working from home can be a challenge. People who are used to their daily routine of the commute, the office and constant interaction with colleagues might have some trouble adapting to working from home during this weird time.
Suddenly, there are more distractions. There’s a TV, there are needy pets who walk on your keyboard, there might even be kids who walk on the keyboard, too.
But, just because we might be in a different work environment doesn’t mean that productivity needs to take a hit. Your output and focus can remain the same as it was in the office, as long as you focus on the right things.
For some tips on bossing it from home, we turned to Jennifer Grigorian, CAS, vice president of marketing for Hit Promotional Products.
Promo Marketing: What do you think is the biggest challenge working from home? How do you personally overcome that?
Jennifer Grigorian: I think the biggest challenge people have working from home is creating a workspace for themselves and having structure. Even if you don’t have an office at home, you can create a space somewhere. That space should not be the sofa with the TV on—LOL. No matter how big or small, you need to carve out your own personal office. That could just be one seat at the kitchen table that is your workspace. I have been working from home a few years now, and my schedule is extremely structured.
My alarm clock goes off at 4:45 a.m. every single day Monday through Friday, no matter what. I get up, have my morning routine and start my day. Then I pack up my water, coffee, tea, etc., and head into my office and close the door. I like to keep my schedule very strict (my own rules on myself). The only thing that is different is I am not commuting. If I didn’t have these rules for myself I would easily still be in my PJs at 4 p.m.!
What's your go-to productivity trick or "hack?” That is to say, a quick fix or even something that might seem a little silly at first but works like a charm? How did you find this?
My biggest trick or hack would definitely be to have a routine. Get up, brush your teeth, take a shower and get dressed. You don’t have to put on a dress and high heels, but not being in your pajamas all day is definitely very important so that you continue having the structure of being in an office environment and knowing the clear line that you are at work.
What are little things you can do to break up the day or break up the monotony that sometimes happens as a result of working from home?
I would say the little thing you can do to break up the day is to stick to your schedule. Have a break to stretch your arms and legs. Just a few minutes is enough. And, most importantly, make sure that you eat lunch away from your workspace. Even if that just means sitting outside and eating lunch or just stepping away to a different area of your living space. That definitely helps break up the monotony of sitting in front of your computer. Taking these small steps and moving to a different environment helps you remain focused and structured.
What else would you like to add about working from home?
I think the most important thing is to remember that you are at work. The only thing that should be different is your commute. Stick to a schedule, get dressed in the morning, step away to have your lunch, etc. I think most important is not to be distracted, especially if you feel that you can multitask around the house along with working. I think that is one of the bigger mistakes you can make to keep to a structured schedule. If you were working in your office and commuting to get there, you would not be folding towels or running the vacuum in the middle of the day. As long as you’re able to stick to your schedule and just remove the commuting portion, you will be able to have a really good and healthy balance in my opinion.
A bonus tip would be to take that commute time and use that for something special for yourself. Whether it’s a walk outside, a face mask, an extra cup of coffee outside, a couple chapters in your favorite book, etc., whatever time you used for commuting can be your "me time" at the beginning and end of your work day. I think that is a special and unique moment to really cherish while you work from home.