• Christopher Haper

Productivity at the Home Office in the Midst of Covid -19

The office is looking a lot different these days. My new office is filled with children, pets, and a loving wife. Sounds like a slice of heaven, or does it? Even though being surrounded by our loved ones during work days may seem ideal, it can sometimes put a damper on the "hard days work" part of the equation. Whether it is the kids longing to be entertained, Netflix's newest series, or pesky household chores and honey do's, it seems there is always something keeping you from "working" at home. Here are some helpful tips that will keep you motivated and productive during these strange times.

Actually Get Ready

Anything worth doing is worth the effort of getting ready. We get ready for a test, we get ready for home projects, we get ready for job interviews and meetings. Most of us used to get ready for work. Here at HR Professional Solutions, we propose continuing to get ready for work. The act of getting ready for the workday is you making a conscious decision to do work. This puts you into the right frame of mind to be productive, rather than loafing about until the guilt of pushing off work sets in and you complete just enough for it to subside.

Make a To-Do List

As simple as that. We aren't talking about mowing the lawn and cleaning the gutters with all of your newfound time at home (even though those things are important too). This is where you separate your work duties from your daily chores. This will help ensure that you are leaving plenty of time for taking care of business. What deadlines do you have coming up? Are there any accounts that need servicing or business contacts that need to be maintained? It is important to not forget about the small things that tend to pop up at work but can go unnoticed in the home office. Making these lists will keep you on track, prioritized, and keep maintenance work from getting lost in the shuffle.

Make Your Space

And keep it clean. A cluttered space can cause a cluttered mind. Ensure that you are comfortable and stress free. It is important to have a space that is dedicated to you being productive. While this space doesn't have to be large it does need to be adequate. What does adequate mean? Out of the way is a good place to start. More out of the way means less interruptions, which is conducive to a more continuous workflow. Your new dedicated workspace should also be properly lit. While it can be tempting to keep the lights low, you may be setting the mood for a nap. A well lit workspace will keep you awake and alert ready to tackle the day's challenges.

Beware of Media Pitfalls

We've all been there. It is easy to get caught up in the pitfall of binge watching streaming services or scrolling through social media. These things will have the workday slipping by unnoticed before you know it, which is a bad thing if you haven't done any work. In order to avoid this it is important to hold yourself accountable. During working hours unplug from social media and streaming services in the same way you would while at work. Put your cell phone in another room and try to avoid having an office near the television. These tips and tricks will help you find the willpower to stay on task. That tiger show will have to wait until after the workday.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries can be difficult, especially when they are for our little humans. However, it is important to set boundaries and expectations for the entire household in regards to your work from home status. These boundaries should include, but are not limited to, limiting interruptions during set working hours, restricting foot traffic in your new work space, and not being volunteered for non-work activities by family members during your working time. Loved ones will naturally want to capitalize on our new time at home by spending it as a family. One way to facilitate this while maintaining boundaries for work is to have a nice family lunch together. It could also be beneficial to take a mini play break with the kiddos once during the day to keep them satisfied.

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