With so many of us working remotely right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, it felt like a good time to discuss how we can continue thriving while working from home. In fact, you might just find that this is one of the most productive times of your career if you execute your work-from-home plan properly.
Use your time wisely
In my case, because I typically commute 50 miles each way to work, I’ve seen a massive increase in my daily productivity levels. Removing that drive time has essentially allowed me to add two additional hours of productivity each day. While much of that is dedicated to work-related items, I’ve also used it to try and be more physically active because doing so while commuting two hours daily was never an easy task. So, that’s one advantage of working from home, and the first suggestion I have: use your extra time to be productive both personally and professionally.
There are many benefits that come from working from home, but there can also be some things that decrease productivity, especially for those of you working from home while your kids are there. I’ve witnessed an interesting dynamic among co-workers and friends as they try to navigate how to work while their kids are present.
Recreate your office environment
Some of our most productive hours are those spent at the office, so it’s vital that we maintain that level of activity regardless of our location. What I’ve found works best is recreating your work environment. Attempt to mirror your work office as closely as possible.
As you’ll see in the video, I made sure I have my calculator because I’m always crunching numbers! I have a nameplate that my grandfather gifted me, fidget toys and something more valuable than gold these days…hand sanitizer! All of these items help replicate my work office and allow me to maximize my efficiency.
Dress to impress
Whatever you do, skip the sweats and tee’s when working from home! As tempting as it may be to dress down and get comfortable while working remotely, studies have shown that those who get dressed up and try to look their best tend to be more mentally prepared for the workday; it improves the psyche and puts you in “the zone”.
We have this phrase we use all the time at the office that goes “Dress good, look good, sell good” and it rings true. When I’m working from home you will never find me in anything less than a button-down shirt because looking good tends to elevate me and help me step up my game a notch. My productivity is better and I’m more focused.
I’ve also found that dressing up for work helps separate work life from personal life, which can be difficult when working remotely. At the end of the workday, I change into more casual clothes and that signals it’s time for a little “me” time to relax, grab dinner, and get in some exercise.
Ramp up your communication
With no kids, I have fewer distractions than many others working from home right now, so I like to take advantage of this. I typically start my day off with a bit more distraction-free think time. I’ve found that the benefit of not having to commute daily and walk into a busy office with a million people asking me questions has freed up some of my time. However, with that freedom also brings isolation from your team. Now, more than ever, you need to ramp up your communication with co-workers. Use video conference lines or whatever works best for you and your team. We use Zoom as a company and it works great for us. You should be on camera with your team as much as possible in an effort to mimic that feel of interpersonal connection because you can’t replace that. It tends to wear on your mental psyche, especially in Type A personalities and salespeople! Communication is key to thriving in a remote environment.
So just a quick recap!
- Use your time wisely
- Recreate your office environment
- Dress to impress
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
Focus on these four goals and you will be well on your way to becoming highly effective and productive while working from home.