20 Effective Tips For Working From Home During A Pandemic

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When working remotely during a pandemic, it is beneficial to find methods to stay productive and work in an organised manner to find motivation. With a few adjustments to your current lifestyle and by following some daily routines, you can maintain focus all day long, even if you are working from the comforts of your home environment. Learning some tips for working from home during a pandemic can definitely help you stay more productive at work. In this article, we examine 20 tips that can help you maintain productivity and find motivation when you need it in a work-from-home arrangement.

Tips for working from home during a pandemic

Follow these tips for working from home during a pandemic:

1. Build a morning routine

Use an alarm to wake up and go through your normal morning habits like you would if you were going to an office. Get dressed in your work attire even if you do not require it at home. This can help you mentally transform your home environment into your workspace.

2. Set daily and weekly goals

Take some time every day to schedule tasks and identify professional and personal goals you want to accomplish during the day. Use these daily objectives to build up to one larger weekly goal that contributes to your overall professional and personal development. Assign time for every task according to your workload and try to leave some time aside for unexpected tasks and contingencies.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition And Examples

3. Make time for breaks

Try to make time for small breaks between work throughout the day, even if for five minutes. This can help you rejuvenate and reorient yourself. The freedom to stop, reflect and rest during your day can help you cope with exhaustion and screen fatigue. Try to engage in fun activities during your breaks to help release your work-related stress.

4. Use time management techniques

While working from home, you may lose track of time. Use effective time-management techniques to monitor and optimise the amount of time you spend on a particular routine task. Using timers, alarms or scheduling apps may help you stay on task and remind you of other tasks in your queue.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

5. Create a workspace

Designate a workspace for yourself in a separate room of your home. If you have limited space, create a workspace within your domestic living space, from where you can work comfortably, without experiencing noise and distraction. Set a boundary that lets others in the household know where your workspace starts and ends. You may ask your housemates to not enter your workspace during certain times of the day, like when you are on an office call or a client meeting.

Related: What Is Remote Work?

6. Take breaks outside

When you take work breaks, use some of them to spend time outdoors. Fresh air and greenery can make you feel happier and help refresh your mind. Consider taking a quick walk if you have time to spare in the evenings. Disconnecting from work with an outdoor physical activity can help in reducing stress and is highly beneficial while you work from home.

7. Eat lunch at the same time

Taking your lunch break at the same time every day may help you develop a healthy routine and get your body used to a scheduled eating plan. Similar to how you take your break at the same time every day, fix the duration for your break and stick to it consistently. You may leave extra time in your scheduled lunch break to plan a quick workout session or engage in a relaxing activity around lunch every day.

8. Pursue online training courses

If your company offers opportunities for professional development, it may be beneficial for you to take part in them. Consider seeking online training modules or skill development courses that can help you advance in your career. Learning new skills and increasing your industry knowledge can help you stay motivated during a pandemic.

9. Schedule video calls with colleagues

Use a video conferencing platform to meet virtually with your colleagues at least once per week. Virtually meeting one another and communicating can help you and your teammates plan and collaborate more effectively. Scheduling regular meetings with your team can also help you stay connected and prevent you from feeling too isolated while working from home.

10. Ask for regular feedback

Asking for regular feedback from your supervisors is essential to understanding how your team leaders and managers see your performance. Knowing exactly where you can improve, along with the aspects of your work that are above average, can help you stay competitive in your role. Knowing your strengths may help boost career growth and make up for any disadvantages of remote work.

11. Contribute to virtual meetings

Come prepared for your team's remote meetings, whether you are meeting through a video conferencing platform or a group call. Try to speak clearly so that your colleagues can hear you over any background noise they may be experiencing. Give your input both verbally and in writing if it involves complexity. Keep your desktop and browser interfaces organised for work so that you can share your screen confidently. Try to make the video conference as lively as possible, as working isolated can be monotonous for everyone who is a part of the meeting.

12. Use productivity apps

Make use of your smartphone and download a few productivity apps. For example, you can find apps to organise your daily schedule, set timers for priority tasks, track your performance and adjust your daily and weekly work goals. These apps can help you complete your work at the designated time and avoid procrastination.

13. Schedule specific work hours

Set specific work hours and let everyone in the house know when you are working. For example, let your family members or housemates know that you may start work every morning at 10 a.m. and do not want to be disturbed until 1 p.m. when you take your lunch break. When you set limits, it may become easier to follow a work schedule.

14. Stay organised

Keep your workspace free of clutter and develop a system for organising important files and paperwork. If you have the entire room to yourself, you can get creative with your storage options, such as using colour-coded drawers or folders to separate different work documents. Whatever method you choose, it is beneficial to stay consistent with your approach, to develop efficient organisational habits.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

15. Develop a wellness routine

Use some of the free time you have during the day to develop a healthy routine for yourself. While it is challenging to incorporate hours of intense exercise, it is beneficial to make sure you are moving and staying physically active throughout the day. Similarly, try to explore healthy recipes and take time for self-care. Staying healthy and hydrated can positively affect your performance at work and increase your productivity.

16. Communicate effectively

When you are working from home, it can also be difficult to tell if you are communicating clearly. Stay connected with teammates and your manager by communicating with them at least once a day. Use your regular communication channels, send email updates or reach out through video chat. When you are unable to interact with your colleagues in person, it is better to express yourself clearly on every topic.

17. Take time off from work

It can be healthy for you to schedule time off to relax. Use your time off or schedule time away from work to spend with your family, do tasks around the home or even start a new activity like gardening. Remember that even if you are working from home, you can make some personal time to clear your mind. Take a few days off from work to rejuvenate and get back to work with more enthusiasm.

18. Limit distractions

Limit potential distractions you find in your home as much as you can. For example, if you find the TV in the living room distracting, work in another room or area of your home. Removing distractions from your environment is important for staying focused on work.

19. Prioritise tasks efficiently

Learn how to separate the most urgent priorities from other important tasks. List out your tasks according to priority by using a chart. This may help you meet deadlines and remain productive consistently, even if your workload increases.

20. Ask for support

If you feel frustrated or just want to connect with someone, ask for support. Try reaching out to your teammates and let them know exactly what you are going through. If you feel that your workload overwhelms you, talk to your supervisor to work out a more manageable schedule. Asking for help when you need it is extremely important for your mental and physical health.

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