JTech’s Guide to Staying Productive From Home
Working from home can be difficult for a number of reasons; not as many resources at your disposal, isolation from coworkers, or experiencing a loss of focus. Regardless of the many distractions at home, the work load continues to remain. Here we will uncover some tips and tactics that we at JTech have found helpful during these strange times, and hopefully you can use these tools to your productivity advantage.
Prepare your Business for Success:
Before we get into tips to help keep yourself productive, it is important that your business is prepared for success.
Most storefront’s are closed down and many people are using the internet to find their favorite products and services online. It is crucial that they are presented with the correct identifying information about the business such as any revised service hours, and any other changes in operations related to COVID-19.. This can be updated through business profiles such as: your website, Google My Business profile, and through social media accounts.
JTech Online Presence Checklist
Along with updating your general business information which will help your customers can find what they are looking for, It’s important to establish new work habits that are stainable and encourage productivity if you’re like most and working remotelyHere are a few to get you started.
- Create a Clean Work Space
This is an easy and common productivity implementation used by many people. The more organized and simple your work space is, the less your mind can distract itself. If you have ever been working on something at home that you aren’t excited about, it is human nature to find anything else to do. By eliminating the urge to fall victim to these distractions, your mind will be focused on getting the project done.
- Write Things Down
Our daily lives have many distractions and It is human nature to have your mind wander throughout the work day. At the office, this may be a less common occurrence because there is more structure. If we are at home, it is often difficult to ignore the urges to some other household chore, such as laundry or yard work. The solution to this problem may seem simple, but it works. Write your priorities and daily objectives down, and keep that list close to your work space. Once you have your working list, frequently review it and use it to ensure you’re progressing with your tasks throughout the day. You can always tackle those house related distractions later in the day.
- Stay Away From (Non-work Related) Social Media
As Erik Devaney points out in his Hubspot article discussing working from home, he mentions that social media is centered around the idea of quick and easy usage. Each application and website can be accessed in seconds, and each item you interact with is usually a short amount of text, a click on an image, or a simple double tap. It seems like you will be able to refocus on work easily after a few scrolls on Facebook. We all know that a “few scrolls” doesn’t exist in the world of social media, so we suggest a few things. Try putting your phone on “do not disturb” mode so as not to be interrupted during your scheduled work time. Move your phone out of your immediate reach so when you try to pick it up, it takes effort that will remind you to stay on track. You can also delete social media apps from your phone, or log out of your accounts during the work day to make it more difficult to check-in. By keeping social media out of your work day, you can maintain focus on the important things you have to get done.
Instagram Log-In Page
JTech Tested Productivity Habits:
Now that you have a few general tips to try working into your quarantine routine, here are some strategies that we have personally found to be helpful. I asked the JTech team what helps them stay focused at home, and here is what they had to say.
- Pretend Like You Are Going to The Office
Usually, it is routine to get ready for work before starting your day. We are at home now, so why dress up when I can stay in sweats all day? For Mike, this is not the case. Mike created a practice of getting ready following his normal routine by getting dressed professionally for the day. The act of getting dressed helps him define when his workday starts, and when it ends. He claims to be more productive, and is able to relax and unwind from his work once his work day is over. Mike also says that setting boundaries with housemates can be crucial. He has a simple rule at his house; “If I am at my desk, please don’t bother me.” This keeps him focused and allows him to work, knowing others won’t converse with him until he is done.
- Define Your Work Space
One of our development team members, Robin, states that the best way to stay productive at home is to dedicate an area strictly for work if possible. This could be the dinner table, a corner work space, or even an entire room. As long as it is an area with limited distractions, you might find that you can get a lot of work done at home.
- Maintain a Strong Level of Communication with Coworkers
Josh and Felix (and I’m sure many of us) find that communication is key during these times of social distancing. Felix suggests utilizing a company or team-wide communication tool such as Slack or Discord as a means of collaboration. This is a great way to stay informed and reply to important questions quickly. It has also proven to help us stay on track of what other members of the team are up to, and allows us the luxury to look back through conversations for information.
Josh leads an all staff daily “check-in” meeting each morning at 8:00 where we virtually meet to update each other with a recap of the prior day and an outline of the day ahead. This accomplishes a few things. First, it reminds everyone that despite physical distance, we are still a team working toward a mutual goal. We also recognize that we hold accountability for our progress which can provide a mental map for your priorities that day. Another benefit and perhaps the most valuable is that hearing our teammates voices in the midst of isolation boosts morale.
- Enjoy your New Office Space
Being the optimist he is, Chris chooses to see the positives of working from home. His words of advice are to love your new home office mascots. For you, this may be your kids, your spouse, your roommates, or in Chris’ case, his two pups! Remember, this situation isn’t permanent, so let’s all get as much out of it as we can.
With these helpful tips from the JTech team, we hope you are able to remain focused and productive throughout the current situation. Tough times are among us, but adaptation and resilience are two qualities that make us human. Distraction can take our focus away from important tasks, and by eliminating those distractions will make working from home a piece of cake.
We hope everyone will continue to remain safe and healthy. Please join us in following the CDC’s recommendations and know that it is temporary. Stay safe and remain productive!