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Staying Focused While Working from Home During COVID-19

4/9/2020
Telecommuting is a popular benefit sought after by many employees. It is known to promote employee satisfaction and loyalty, and positively affect productivity. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many employees around the world are now working from home.
 
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Telecommuting is a popular benefit sought after by many employees. It is known to promote employee satisfaction and loyalty, and positively affect productivity. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many employees around the world are now working from home full-time. For many who are not used to this way of working, the sudden shift in lifestyle may not be easy as they need to adjust their usual organization. Assist America has compiled a list of suggestions and tips to help you stay focused throughout the day:

1. Set a Proper Work Area at Home

A calm and dedicated workspace is important to stay focused. If possible, set yourself up in a quiet and bright room, away from other people and other distractions such as television screens. If you are used to working with a monitor screen, a mouse, or an external keyboard, ask your employer if you could be equipped with such items at home. Do not work from your bed, couch or kitchen counters. These locations are, for obvious reason, not conducive to productivity.
 

2. Have a Morning Routing

While spending the day in your sweatpants or pajamas sounds attractive, it is recommended to follow a more structured morning routine by scheduling an alarm clock, eating a healthy breakfast, working out, taking a shower and dressing up as you would for a business casual Friday. Doing so will help you get energized for the day and differentiate the workdays from weekends.

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3. Establish Clear Communication

It is important to understand what is expected from you and to share your challenges with your supervisor as they arise. Have an honest discussion regarding what achievements and progress you are to make on your ongoing projects. Finally, agree on a platform to conveniently communicate with your manager your projects’ status and completion, as well as any changes regarding your work schedule.
 

4. Map Out Your Daily and Weekly Responsibilities

Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week and every morning to list your priorities and review your goals, ensuring nothing falls behind schedule. Checking things off the to-do list throughout the day will help you build momentum and feel a sense of achievement. Remember to be realistic and avoid listing too many things, risking feeling overwhelmed by unrealistic goals.
 

5. Set Up Reminders for Breaks

Frequent, short breaks are necessary for staying focused and productive throughout the workday. Make sure you stand up from your desk, walk around your home, drink some water, and eat healthy and energizing snacks such as nuts or granola bars. If you have a tendency to get sucked into your work and miss your breaks, schedule calendar reminders on your phone or laptop.
 
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6. Engage with Your Coworkers

The feeling of isolation can be hard on someone’s wellness. Remember that, in this day and age, you don’t have to stay isolated. Use the technology available to you to connect with your colleagues. Don’t neglect the power of voice conversation - pick up the phone to check on them, instead of using texts or instant messaging apps. If you were used to having lunch or coffee with some of your coworkers, offer to organize weekly conference calls to catch up with them and share coffee or lunch remotely.
 

7. Establish Work-Life Boundaries

When working from home, it may hard to draw the line between work and life – after all, your laptop is a few steps away and answering a couple of emails at 9:00 pm could help you get a head-start for the next day. To avoid this situation, the most important thing you can do is to set work hours in agreement with your employer or company policies. There should be a start and end to your workday, just like there would be in a real office. At the end of the day, turn off the devices you use for work, leave your home office, and shut the door behind you (literally or figuratively, depending on if your workspace has one).

For more information about COVID-19 and the latest news and updates, visit our website at https://www.assistamerica.com/covid-19.aspx