Working from home became a reality for millions of people worldwide in 2020, and it’s clear that working from home, at least for some portion of the week, is not going anywhere for a long time. Many of us were thrust into this unfamiliar territory, somewhat unsure and unsettled by the loss of our morning commute, familiar office and co-workers, and general structure of life. Here at Issuu, we have made the same transition, gradually figuring out how to maintain normalcy and productivity during our virtual workdays. Here are four of the most important tips we've discovered that you can use to step up your work-from-home game.
This first tip is key to productivity in general, be it in-person or over Zoom, and is vital for starting your day on a productive foot. At the start of every workday it is very important to sit down and tackle the most pressing and important tasks on your to-do list first. As I can personally attest to, it is very tempting to start your day responding to every Slack message you have received and finishing up many low priority tasks, but at the end of the day you’ll often find you didn't get nearly as much done as you wanted to. As Elena Gross puts it in the Fast Company Blog, “Studies have shown that you have the most willpower in the morning, so harness your motivation mojo and master your most important task bright and early.”
One of the most drastic changes for many people new to working from home, is, well… working in your home. It can be quite jarring to no longer have an office filled with your co-workers collectively reaching for the same goal and to no longer have a dedicated space for your work. Open communication can often work to ease this transition. Having an honest conversation with the people you are living with about what you need and what they need, in order to effectively concentrate and create a productive work environment, can ultimately create healthy relational boundaries and lead to increased productivity for everyone involved.
Now that you have discussed with your family, roommates, etc. about what you need to effectively work from home, it is important you create a physical space that is specifically designated for work. This does not mean you need to live in a large house with a private office, but it is important that you physically and mentally set aside a specific place for work. This can be anything from the aforementioned office to a specific seat on your kitchen table or a small desk in your room. Whatever the space is, respect it as a place of work, and keep it simple and clean, so that you are free from distractions throughout your work day.
One of the most essential work-from-home tips is consciously stopping work at the end of the day. When there is no physical transition from “workplace” to “home,” it can be hard to mentally make this transition, but it is nonetheless beneficial. At the end of the day make sure to actively remind yourself that the work day is over and ease this transition by packing up your work materials as you would after a day in the office. Having your work space cleared and uncluttered at the end of the day will help remind you work is over, and it will also help you start with a clear head the next morning.
We know how tricky the transition to working at home can be, and we hope these tips help you take on your next work day with confidence and focus. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks, take a look at the Issuu blog.