In many respects, we have managed to come out on the other side of mask mandates, restaurant closings, and even toilet paper shortages. However, it’s clear that COVID-19 altered the fabric of our everyday lives—especially the shift towards an increasingly virtual work environment.
As hybrid workforces and remote employees are increasingly normalized, the concept of working from home can feel both exciting and daunting. For some, flexible schedules and a different environment presents a welcome change. Others may be exposed to more distractions and find it hard to remain focused.
With our reliance on Internet and phone services more apparent now than ever, being able to manage and maintain productivity is key to avoiding burnout while working remote. These 10 tips are here to help you effectively manage your new work lifestyle in a healthy way.
Tip #1: Create a Personal Workspace
Find a space in your home, whether that be an office or simply your kitchen table, and make sure it’s clean and clear of unnecessary clutter. Avoid working from your bed or couch to separate relaxing spaces from your work. Make sure this spot is free from distractions and add some personal flare to make the space feel like yours.
Tip #2: Make a To-Do List – and Stick to It!
Before responding to emails and starting tasks, take time to organize your daily to-do list. Writing out goals and deadlines for each day helps you remain organized and productive. Start with the most important tasks in the morning when you have maximum energy. Then, set times later to complete other smaller tasks to make the day more manageable.
Tip #3: Schedule Breaks
When the workday gets going, it can feel difficult to step out from behind the computer screen. Planning out breaks throughout the day will help you manage a sense of control and stability. Use this time to catch up with family or friends, make a snack, do a few chores, or simply disconnect.
Tip #4: Limit Distractions
Removing distractions from your workspace is vital to staying focused, and taking digital breaks also reduces stress and helps you stay present. Try your best to stay off social media until you have completed several tasks and remind family and friends not to disturb you during working hours. Playing music may help cut out other distractions and help you find your groove.
Tip #5: Connect with Coworkers
Although face-to-face meetings might not be possible, its still important to chat and collaborate with -your coworkers. Stay connected with your team through the many by powers of TDS’ managedIP Hosted solution—an internet, phone, and mobile suite designed to make your business more efficient and responsive.
Set up video calls or use Meet-Me Conferencing (MMC) to host online conferences with as many as 125 people anywhere, anytime. Instant Messaging is another great way to catch up with coworkers or schedule group lunch meetings through the use of your phone, tablet, or PC.
Tip #6: Dress for Work
Even in the comfort of your own home, it’s important to get dressed for a day at the office. Doing so will help you stay productive and in work mode. This is especially important if you have video meetings or presentations throughout the day.
Tip #7: Avoid Procrastination
It can be easy to lose track of time when taking breaks or doing chores during work hours. Sticking to a time management technique, such as the Pomodoro Method, can help you manage breaks in between work. Organizing your tasks and setting timers for certain activities is also great for meeting daily goals.
Tip #8: Designate a Routine
Having a before-and-after work routine can help you transition in and out of work mode. Starting and ending at the same time each day helps your mind and body recognize where to direct its focus. Setting new goals and cleaning your workspace gives you a fresh start for the next day.
Tip #9: Stick to Working Hours
Setting business boundaries will help you manage your work and personal life more efficiently. Make sure you log out and step away from your computer at the end of the day to prevent bringing the stress of work into your evenings. Communicate with your colleagues about when you’ll be online to maximize those working hours.
Tip #10: Make Time for the Outdoors
Whether you’re taking a call or taking a break, getting outside is a great way to manage stress and take care of your mental and physical health. Using the Softphone feature on managedIP Hosted allows you to multitask and collaborate from your own backyard, or try Call Pull while on a walk to help balance work and exercise.
With the right outlook, working remotely can be an unforeseen opportunity for productivity. In our mobile, fast-paced world, the ability to stay connected anywhere and anytime is invaluable. When employees can easily collaborate across locations, productivity is elevated. Responsiveness matters, and maximizing the virtual workforce helps employees and businesses maintain stability in our ever-changing environment.
Written by Celia Reid, TDS Communications Intern