Recently many of us have been informed that we should start working from home. Like any challenge, there are two different attitudes on approaching this drastic change. You could find yourself sleeping in, giving in to distractions, losing focus, not getting work done, and ultimately giving up only to binge-watch the latest show on Netflix. Alternatively, I see this as a massive opportunity to show my team and colleagues the benefits of a flexible schedule and challenge myself to blow them away with my increased productivity! My typical workday begins by sneaking out of my house into the darkness while my kids are sleeping, spending over 2 hours commuting, only to return home exhausted and attempt to give them the last bit of energy I have in the tank. With the new #WFH schedule, I now wake up with them in the morning and get to experience their peak “adorableness” before I sneak away to work.
That isn’t to say #WFH doesn’t come with its challenges, I wanted to give you a few tips from our team to help you stay focused and organized on your quest for productivity in your new office environment! Here are some working from home tips for success.
It's quite easy to get too comfortable while working from home. After all, you don’t have to get dressed up in business attire, but that doesn’t mean you should be lounging in pajamas. I wore a suit for 7 years of my life, you better believe I (and others) acted differently while dressed professionally. Dress for productivity and comfort and find a quiet place to be used as your office. It can be a simple desk in the corner of the living room, but the most important thing is that it must be free from any noise or distraction. My home office is my garage, no one bugs me out here. Share your workspace on social using #StayDrivenAtHome and #WFH so our team can share your set up!
The technological wonder of laptops is you can bring them anywhere, which brings me to my next tip: Switch it up! Don’t be afraid to switch up your scenery and move your office outside. I find it is refreshing to bring my laptop outside and take in some Vitamin D. Or if it is somewhat of a mindless task, feel free to set a timer and work from your couch while you take in some news.
Flexibility can be a double-edged sword. Because there's no boss to look over your shoulder when working at home, many people get lost in procrastination and distraction. To cope with this, plan ahead what you want to achieve for the day together with a work schedule and try to stick to it. Be realistic when setting goals or you'll be overloading yourself and get disappointed.
Learn to anticipate distractions and come up with ways to avoid them. If you find yourself spending too much time chatting with colleagues through Slack, Whatsapp, or Google Hangouts rather than actually doing the work, consider putting away your phone or turning off notifications. I try to focus on one task at a time, and I’ve found that time blocking is the best solution. I even give myself rewards for achieving tasks, usually food oriented!
Your family, friends, and neighbors may not take the work you do at home as seriously as the work you do in the office. As a result, they expect you to be available during the day for a quick chat or ask you to run errands. If that is the case, learn to set your limits. It's important to say no when appropriate. Let them know your schedule and ask them to respect it.
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No matter how much you try, there will be distracting noises at home. Your family might turn on the TV in the next room. Someone might make noise cooking in the kitchen. To avoid getting distracted, consider investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Find your focus flickering? Instead of forcing your self back to work, why not take a 15-minute break and do some exercises to keep your body active and healthy? If you happen to live near a park, taking a stroll in nature can refresh your body. Remember, the ultimate goal is to increase your productivity and get the work done, not to stick to the office hours or work X hours a day.
I hope you find these tips helpful and I invite you to share your tips and work setup online using #StayDrivenAtHome and #WFH to help inspire others to stay motivated. Community is more important than ever.
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Stay Driven My Friends,
Mdrive Communications Manager
PS: Here is a glimpse at my #WFH Setups
We catch up with investigative journalist and news anchor Brett Shipp. From getting punched out by politicians, to chased by Hall of Fame NFL football stars, and an emotional road trip from Dallas to New York City to cover 9/11, Brett is the epitome of a passionate, go-the-extra mile, driven guy.
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