On the fifty-seventh entry of Tristan’s Tips, our amazing host Tristan Layfield is back to help us maximize our productivity if we’re working from home. COVID-19 has flipped the way we work on its on head. Many places are shutting down and the majority of those that aren’t closing are moving to a work from home model, and transitioning to working from home can prove to be a much more difficult task than you may think, so be sure to listen to the full show to hear all of Tristan’s advice!
Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate?! It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’m back to bring you another career tip. The COVID-19 coronavirus has flipped the way we work on its on head. Many places are shutting down and the majority of those that aren’t closing are moving to a work from home model. Transitioning to working from home can prove to be a much more difficult task than you may think, so I wanted to provide a few tips to help you be as productive as possible during this time.
1) Create a morning routine – since you’re going to be living and working in the same place for some time, setting a morning routine can help you get into the mindset to work. Also, still get dressed! As much as I’d love to be lounging around in sweatpants, I found that when I first began working from home I would have a much harder time staying focused if I was in my chill attire. After some time, you may be able to get a little lax on that.
2) Set a schedule – during this time structure is going to be your best friend. Set designated work times and be sure to discuss these times with everyone in your household so you are on the same page and you can try to get work done uninterrupted. Sometimes it’s really hard to break yourself away from work when you aren’t in an office setting so be sure to schedule breaks throughout the day. This includes lunch! Take that time to eat, go for a walk, do an activity to decompress, whatever you want to do….just don’t skip it!
3) Set up a designated space to work – like I said in #1, you’ll be living and working in the same space. It’s best to try to separate social and rest areas from work spaces to get you mentally prepared to work and not be tempted to nap. Set up your space in a way to mimic your standard workflow when you’re in the office to help you boost your productivity.
4) Avoid TV – no seriously, I know it’s tempting, but you’ll more than likely get sucked in, and productivity will be low. Save it for breaks and really after you’re done for the day.
5) Mute your phone on conference and video calls when you’re not speaking. No one wants to hear background noise, you randomly burping, or screaming at your kid to get down from there. This makes sure you’re not a disruption on the call and that you don’t embarrass yourself.
6) Use headphones when video conferencing – it’s usually easier for people to hear you, for you to hear them, and it stops feedback when you unmute your mic to speak.
7) Get coffee and snacks – a lot of people who work in offices are used to coffee and snacks being readily available (like that cake in the break room), so when you’re doing your shopping be sure to include these on your list to keep you motivated throughout the day.
8) Speak up more than you normally would in meetings – since you’re not physically present, you’ll want to make your presence known by being a bit more vocal than you normally would. Talk a bit more on the conference calls. Check in a bit more via slack or email. Let your leadership know you’re showing up during this time and getting the work done. But don’t confuse that with continually checking in or being overbearing on calls, there’s a balance just try to find yours.
9) When you sign off, actually sign off – it’s really easy to get sucked into working long hours when you work from home especially since we are all social distancing and there’s not much going on. During this time, it’s essential that create space for yourself to decompress, relax, and turn off work-related notifications like Slack, Email, and other work-related apps.
I know the last couple of weeks have been crazy, but I hope these tips help you create a sense of normalcy during this time to help you get a bit more focused and productive while working from home.
This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @LayfieldResume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.