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Working at Home: Ramping up productivity while flattening the curve

For most of us, the business closures and social distancing required to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic is not a vacation, or a surprise “snow day” like we enjoyed when we were kids.  Many of us are adapting to the “new normal” and working from home – or WFH – to help to curb the spread.

Freelancers and small business entrepreneurs have this work/life balance thing figured out – but maybe the rest of us could use a few tips on how to be productive during a pandemic.

Keep your routine

  • It’s still a regular work day.  Set an alarm for your usual time.  Get up, shower, and have breakfast. 
  • Get dressed — and that doesn’t mean throwing your pyjamas back on.  Now you’re ready for that video meeting on Skype!
  • Keep your usual office hours.  WFH can bleed into all hours of the day if you let it.  Try to concentrate on work during business hours, then allow yourself to disconnect from work and focus on family time and leisure activities at home.  

Find your spot

  • If you don’t have a dedicated desk or office at home, find a spot you can claim as your designated work space.  The end of the dining table or the kitchen counter do great double-duty.
  • Let the people around you and know that this is where you need to focus on work – and respect their spot as well.
  • Try not to work in bed or on the couch – keep these spots free for sleeping and relaxing.

Take your breaks & exercise

  • You might be enjoying a quiet home…or your WFH co-workers could be talkative toddlers or four-legged beasts that bark at squirrels!  Take a break, take a breath, and adjust.
  • Breaks – walking away from your computer for lunch or a walk around the block – will help get you through the day and the days ahead.
  • Keep moving throughout the day.  Exercise boosts your “feel good” endorphins and stretching helps maintain posture and mobility.

Use your tools to stay connected

  • Use video conferencing and phone calls to stay connected.  It captures the spirit of in-person group meetings / brainstorm sessions, as well as that “water cooler” chit-chat that we’re missing out on while social distancing.
  • It’s not just you – your friends are feeling the strain as well.  Set up calls with co-workers and friends who are also working from home.  We’re all in this together!