As we all adjust to our new normal, many people are working from home for the first time. In addition to dealing with the anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, you are also faced with the daunting task of getting work done outside of your office. 

First and foremost, consider yourself lucky that your job allows you to work from home. You can also take solace in the fact that you’re not in this alone. There are millions of other people like you who are working remotely for the first time. 

So if you’re unsure of how to stay productive and get your work done from home, here are some tips to help.

Find a Dedicated Workspace

Working from the couch or the bed may work for some people, but it doesn’t work for most. You need to move your brain into work-mode, and trying to focus from places usually reserved for relaxation and rest will leave you unproductive. 

That’s why you need to find a dedicated workspace in your home. Some people are lucky and already have a home office set up. But many don’t have that luxury. If you find yourself without an office at home, find somewhere else removed from the rest of the house where you can sit down and get to work. 

Even if your workspace is in a corner of the room with a desk, that’s ok! What’s important is that you have a place designated for work. This helps you get into work-mode when you sit down in this space. And when you leave your workspace, it’s almost like leaving the office.

Remove Distractions

Let’s face it, it’s easy to get distracted when you work from home. From dirty dishes to laundry to everything else that needs doing around the house, there are so many things that can take your mind off work when you’re home. Not to mention the allure of online shopping or TV. 

Combatting this takes some willpower. Set work hours for yourself and commit to staying at your dedicated workspace during that time. You can also schedule breaks throughout the day, just make sure your 15-minute break doesn’t turn into something longer. 

The point is, you should act as if you’re in the office and all the distractions around the house don’t exist. You wouldn’t take a break to do laundry if you were at the office, so try not to do that at home. 

Don’t Read Too Much News 

News about the coronavirus is almost unavoidable. It’s literally everywhere you look. It’s ok to read the news and stay informed, but too much of it can easily take you away from work.

A good practice is to set aside some time before and after work to get caught up on the news. That way you hopefully avoid constantly checking for coronavirus updates throughout the day. 

Communicate with Colleagues Often 

Working from home can be isolating. You’re used to talking with your coworkers every day, simply walking over to their desks for a quick chat or catching up in the breakroom. That’s obviously not an option now, but you should still make a point to talk with them as much as possible. 

Hopefully, your company has provided you with a way to keep in touch, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If not, there are other options, like FaceTime, Houseparty, or Skype that you can utilize to communicate with colleagues.

Keep in mind that these conversations don’t have to be work-related. You could organize virtual happy hour with your team, or just touch base to say hi and see how they’re doing. Fun things like this will go a long way when it comes to your mental health. 

While working from home isn’t ideal for many, it is still possible to be productive. Following these tips should help you keep distractions at bay and keep you on task. And hopefully, we will all be back in the office soon.

 

If you need help finding an accounting or finance job, contact Burchard & Associates. We’ve helped countless job seekers in the St. Louis area find the next step in their accounting and finance careers. Check out our available jobs or contact us today.