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Tips for Staying Productive When Working From Home

Man on laptop with dog on his lap
By Joseph Fawbush, Esq. | Last updated on

Law firms and corporations across the country are implementing work from home policies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For those with the opportunity to do so, working from home is an essential part of the social distancing necessary to lower the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Setting the significant health considerations aside, working from home has some advantages. Often, it is easier to get work done. You may be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to focus on work without the distractions present in the office.

Working remotely is not without challenges, however. This blog offers some productivity tips on how to work effectively and stay sane, even if you don't leave the house for work.

  • Create your own workspace: Work/life balance is important, and ​one way to continue to do this is by physica​lly separating your work and home life. Create an office in your own home. You may not have the space to set aside a whole room, but you can still create an area that you go to when working. Make it comfortable, but not distracting. Consider whether it is feasible to set up a monitor, mouse and full keyboard. Importantly, use that space for work, and only for work. Your commute may only be ten steps across your apartment, but when you arrive you'll be at work. When you're done, you can use the rest of your space to relax.
  • Don't multitask: There is always something to do around your home. Dishes, laundry, feeding your dog. Petting your dog. Telling your dog he's a good boy. Those things can wait. You couldn't do them in the office, so don't feel pressure to get chores done when working from home. Chores will still be there when you're done working, as will your dog. Your dog is just happy you're around.
  • Set a normal routine: The first time you work the whole day in your pajamas it's a novelty; two weeks in a row it's a rut. Given the COVID-19 outbreak, it's important to wash your hands frequently. I'll add this – it's important to shower and get dressed, too. Even if you aren't seeing anyone.
  • Collaborate: Working from home is isolating. Even if you have family with you, you may feel out of the loop. That's why it's important to remain in contact with people even if you can't meet in person. Fortunately, there is a host of collaboration software available so you can video and teleconference with your colleagues and clients regularly. Have meetings, use an instant messaging service, whatever you need to do in order to stay in contact.
  • Get outside: It's safe to go for walks, jogs and rides. Just keep some distance between other people. Exercise is particularly important when you are stuck in one place for too much time.
  • Have an end to the workday: Your home can be your workplace, but it is still your home. Set a time to be done with work. If possible, get away from work communication channels. You must be able to relax at home. That means getting away from work on occasion.

Good luck working from home and stay safe, everyone.

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