Staying Productive When Working from Home: COVID-19

Posted March 19, 2020
virtual time

With more and more people working from home due to coronavirus, we can all use some helpful suggestions to stay motivated and productive. Let’s face it. Working from home poses a variety of challenges, especially if we’re self-quarantined. Whether we’re trying to get our work done with a full household or we’re in a small space, there are lots of distractions and stressors that can keep us from staying productive. Especially in a time when the coronavirus is taking center stage. Here are some habits you and your employees can do to remain positive and productive while working from home.

Stick to your morning routine.

Now that you’re not commuting to work, you’ve probably got a little more time available in the morning. Sure, sleeping in sounds great. However, it’s a good idea to keep waking up early, just like how you were doing when you were going to the office. Wake up early, start work early, and get more tasks completed.Keeping to your morning routine can make things feel a little more normal, too. So, make a pot of coffee and settle in like you would at the office. After all, if you want to get things done in a timely manner, you have to stick to a schedule to guide your day. Getting into a routine at home can also make things seem a little normal, even during uncertain times. Set your goals and check them off throughout the day. A feeling of accomplishment is a great way to boost productivity.

Set tasks with deadlines.

This tip related to sticking to your morning routine, with a twist — set tasks with deadlines. Create a calendar of tasks that need to get done with deadlines attached. If you aren’t able to supervise every employee, you can ask remote workers to turn in an End of Day Report Summary. The bottom line is that all team members will need to have a clear target to hit. Keep the workflow going at a good pace and reap the rewards.

Create a distraction-free zone.

It’s essential to create a quiet workspace that’s free of distractions. Many of us are practicing social distancing. When we’re working from home, finding a calm space is going to be one of the biggest challenges. Reduce desk clutter by cleaning the desk when you can. Are there lots of other people at home with you too? Kids home from school, too? Put on some headphones and listen to something with just enough volume to provide the right amount of background noise. This brings us to our next tip…

Steer clear of Social Media sites when working.

Staying laser-focused takes effort, especially with so much information on the internet exchanged at lightning speed. Do you really need to see what your friends on Facebook land and Instagram are up to at every minute of the day? Or can that wait until you’re on a lunch break or done with your tasks? There’ll be plenty of time to give someone a “like” or comment on a funny meme.

Keep an open line of communication.

Use video conferencing, Face time, and other forms of “live” communication. Even though most of us aren’t working in the office, you can still keep in touch with your teammates. In essence, it’s one of the main ways to motivate employees and is great for managing employees. Excellent communication enables all the information about projects, tasks, and procedures to be available to the other team members. Plus, it brings a sense of togetherness. Ask your fellow teammates how they’re dealing with working remotely. Lift those around you because there will be times when you may feel down. Positive feedback and encouragement go a long way in helping people stay productive.

Get some fresh air.

Our home is a safe spot, and even more so now during the coronavirus times. And while it’s a good idea to practice social distancing, you can still go outdoors to soak up some sunshine. The fresh air, sun, singing birds, heck, even rain on your face — nature does a mind and body good. Refresh yourself by going right outside your door, balcony, or backyard. Be sure to take breaks, just as if you were working in an office. Fresh air can bring on fresh ideas so you can keep on staying productive. You can consider going outside as a way to give yourself a mental and physical reboot.

Just say No to loungewear.

Pajamas are comfy. We get it. However, when it comes to getting dressed for work, even when it’s remote, what we wear can affect our mood and productivity. So, if you’re getting dressed in loungewear, you’re probably more likely to lounge around and get less done. Whereas, if you put on what you’d normally wear to the office, it can help you stay motivated. Look professional and act professional.

Exercise at home.

Exercising is a great way to keep yourself motivated and healthy. You can do all sorts of exercise routines, even while sitting at your desk. It might not be a good idea or even recommended to hit the gym right now. But, there are plenty of ways to exercise at home. Try doing yoga, Pilates, jumping jacks, planking, pushups, walking the dog, and other activities. Every study on the planet will tell you that exercising gives you a boost of energy and that it’s also helpful for your productivity levels. Working out can get you thinking more clearly and can help your legs from stiffening due to sitting at a desk for too long of a time.

Recognize your employees’ good behavior.

Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t on your best behavior. Even when most of the employees are working remotely, company values should be in place. Ask yourself what can an employee do to earn a reward? Of course, monitoring your remote workers behavior is a challenge. However, frequent communication can ensure that every worker is doing the right thing. Plus, dangling specific rewards people love, like gift cards, PTO and other PERKS can motivate employees to do their best.

Remote workers can still have fun!

Looking for ways to make work fun and competitive for remote workers? Try gamification. Choose a gamification platform that works best for your organization. And while competition can drive employees to work harder, always remember to keep it as a friendly competition. The last thing you want to do is cause friction within your team culture. A winning team plays and works together through thick and thin.

Use online time management programs.

No one likes that feeling of being babysat. However, there needs to be tools in place to monitor remote workers. Virtual time cards are a great tool. You can choose tools that can monitor productivity and project pace. There are lots of different software programs available, including Toggl and other time tracking programs. Do a little research and find the right fit. Be sure to use these tools as a way to measure an employees’ time spent on tasks. When someone feels like they’re on constant surveillance, it can backfire and create resentment and negativity, which in turn leads to a lack of motivation and lack of productivity.

Keep learning new skills!

Need to brush up on Photoshop? Want to learn the latest SEO marketing strategies? Sign up for LinkedIn Learning or go on YouTube and search for something you’ve always wanted to learn or brush up on. Being at home means you have the time to strengthen your skillset. It’s an excellent time to discover the latest trends in your industry to keep you competitive. Of course, it’s best to do this during your downtime.

AdVenture Games, Inc. strives to help organizations stay productive and motivated. Whether your teams are working remotely or at the office, it’s essential to keep your teams motivated and positive during these stressful times. We’re all in this together and look forward to building up your organization with team building activities catered to your needs. Feel free to reach out, and we’ll be glad to discuss ways to keep employees engaged throughout this time and beyond.