Updated: Mar 13, 2020
We are so lucky to work in an industry where tech allows us to work from anywhere in the world. And by now, many of you (hopefully all) have been told to work from home (WFH) due to COVID-19. You are probably scared as hell of the virus but excited about not having to wake up early, commute to the office, and catching up on the latest Netflix series.
While the thought of that sounds great, the reality is, WFH brings a lot of flexibility, but it's not PTO or a "free day." It is essential that you remain productive and don't even appear to be a slacker!
Below are some tips on how to fight the distractions and remain productive while WFH.
Get out the bed. A dedicated workspace will keep you organized, increase your productivity, and help you avoid things that may cause distractions around the house—Netflix, that passion project, or laundry that's been sitting there for a week. It can wait.
Get the stuff you need. It's also vital that you have access to tools and networks to get things done. If not, call IT. You are still expected to get work done. No excuses.
Maintain your routine. Get up at the same time each day and follow your regular routine as if you were going to the office. So yes, that means you should brush your teeth, shower, and get your life together. Also, know when to shut it down. People tend to work longer hours when they work from home. Shut it down as you do in the office when the clock strikes 5.
Put on pants! Nah, seriously. I'm not suggesting you put on a whole outfit and beat your face (ladies). You can put on whatever makes you comfortable, but make sure you are appropriate for any video calls. Getting "dressed" will also make you feel energized and will help with your productivity.
Flip on the video camera. Some of us are not that into our co-workers (I get it) and will use this an opportunity to post some distance between you. However, face-to-face meeting ensures engagement and drives more effective communication.
Don't eat everything in the fridge. I am speaking from experience here because the kitchen is literally right there with all my favorite snacks and leftovers. It's still crucial that you prep your meals and carve out time to eat. Take a break for lunch, stretch your legs and give your brain a rest. Don't forget to stay hydrated. Stay away from the Wine and Henny until after 5.
Set boundaries if multiple people are home. One, people need to respect your time and the fact that you are still hustling amid the craziness. No bae cannot come over to chill (lol)—they can bring their laptop over and work too. Let your household know that you are still working, and you will only be available for a specific time. If you have children get help. It's also helpful to limit the background noise and make sure you have a quiet environment where you can concentrate and be productive.
Communicate. We take for granted while in the office the quick meetings, whiteboarding sessions, and social engagement. Find a way to check in regularly with your team and make sure that you are communicating your progress and blockers to remain productive and motivated.
Be safe all!