The whole Metro Manila will be on a “community quarantine” for a month starting March 15 because of the coronavirus outbreak. So more companies are now letting their employees work from home to help stop the spread of the virus and for their safety. Read on to know how to work from home productively if you happen to be one of those employees!
I’ve been working from home for more than 6 months now, and I wanted to share some useful tips to help those transitioning to this whole work from home arrangement. I’m sure it will be a challenge to some people — that was the case for me at first. It was a big leap for me after working in an office setup for over 8 years, and it took me a while to adjust to my new lifestyle. But you can do it with proper preparation and the right mindset. 😉
Before anything else, please make sure you’re feeling well! Don’t force yourself to work from home productively if you’re sick! Inform your boss and rest for the day (or visit a doctor, if necessary).
10 Tips On How To Work From Home Productively 💪🏻
Set up your workspace
Just as you would in a normal office setup, you will also need a proper workspace so you can work at home productively. Make use of your table and find a comfortable chair. Place a lamp if needed or move your table near a window so natural light can be maximized.
Also avoid working from your bed as much as possible (you wouldn’t want to associate your bed with work, right?). You’re expected to work, not to chill.
Inform people at home about your work setup
This applies if you do not live alone. Inform everyone in your household and tell them about your new work arrangement. This may sound foreign especially to old people. So it is important that they know you’re actually working and you have to focus during working hours.
Shower before working
Or the very least, wash your face and brush your teeth and change your clothes. Promise, it’s an instant mood booster knowing you come to work clean and fresh! It will help put you in a work mindset.
Put on some comfortable clothes
The best part of working from home is you can wear your comfy pambahay clothes! Except of course when you have a video conference call, then put extra effort to change your top into a more work-appropriate one. But yes, most days you can wear anything you want! No dress code, no uniforms, you can even work without your bra! FREEDOOOM!
Set a work schedule
Ask your boss about your work from home schedule — if you have to clock in and out the same time as you were in an office setup, or if you can have a more flexible schedule (e.g. work any time of the day as you please as long as you deliver your outputs in time). Knowing what time of the day you have to work helps make you more productive since you can plan ahead your day.
ALSO READ: How To Prevent Work From Home Burnout
Use tools to work from home productively
Since everything must be done online, it’s important that everyone in the team is in sync with the projects, deadlines, meetings, etc. Good thing collaborating online is now made easy, thanks to the many tools available at our disposal. Some of the popular ones are Trello, Monday.com, Zoom, and Slack.
Don’t forget the good ‘ol Google Hangouts, too! You can set up different threads for different topics in Google Hangouts so discussions stay on point. If your company still doesn’t have these tools in place, maybe now is the best time to explore and find the best ones to use!
Constantly communicate and don’t hesitate to ask
More than anything else, it’s important to overcommunicate in a work from home setup. Since you’re all not physically together in one place, your colleagues wouldn’t know your whereabouts, the particular projects or tasks you’re working on, if you’re experiencing difficulty with something, and so on. Make it a point to communicate with your team members if you’re done with a project or an important task.
Moreover, It’s best to have a group chat thread where everyone says a quick “hello” or “good morning” to let others know who’s online. This same thread can be used for “goodbye” and “will have lunch” so your colleagues will know and are not left wondering why it’s taking you so long to respond.
Also, never assume you know everything. Ask help — it’s better to do it right the first time with the guidance of your colleagues than to repeat something (and waste time) because you committed a mistake that could have been avoided if you asked in the first place.
Write down a to-do list for the day
Prioritize tasks and make sure projects are moving despite the fact that you’re working remotely. You’re not superwoman so don’t expect you can accomplish everything — be realistic about your to-do list.
Again, keep in mind that you’re expected to work, not to chill. So work from home productively without distractions. Just like working from the office, respect the proper use of work hours. That means no TV, no playing of games, no surfing the net (unrelated to work).
Take your lunch break and mini breaks
So you can work from home productively, you have to take your breaks too! Stand up, walk a bit, do some stretchings!
As much as possible, take your lunch during regular lunchtime and avoid having a “working lunch.” It’s good to be away from the computer, too, you know. 🤓 Staring at your laptop screen for long hours can strain your eyes, so it’s important to rest them too.
I also use my lunch break to take a quick 10-minute power nap (after all, that’s one of the perks of working from home – your bed is within reach). That power nap can increase work from home productivity.
If you’re using your personal laptop for work, make sure to set up a separate work profile in your browser specifically for work-related stuff (where all work emails and work-related websites are logged in and bookmarked). That way, you can simply close down that browser when work hours are done, and then open it up to come back where you left off the next day. Trust me, this trick is super helpful!
So there you have it! Those are my top tips on how to work from home productively amidst the coronavirus situation.
ALSO READ: Top 5 Essentials So You Can Work From Home Productively
Please stay safe and avoid going out if you can. Let’s all be responsible citizens and help stop the spread of this killer virus. Let’s also pray for those already infected that they recover soon. My thoughts are with the health professionals around the world who are risking their lives each day to battle this pandemic.
Leave a comment if you have any other tips on how to work from home productively! Let me know also if your company is allowing you to work from home already and your thoughts about it! 🤔
Thank you for your tips and this article. Here’s a great way I found to earn money. I hope it helps some others!
Hi, Jefferson! Thank you for dropping by! 🙂
I’m early in my freelance career, and these are great tips for any remote worker (trapped at home by the virus or not). It’s so important to keep your day motivated and defined so you aren’t aimless and unproductive.
Yes, exactly! We need to keep our day as productive as we can. 🙂 Thank you for dropping by, Mint!
So important to set those boundaries when you work for yourself. It’s all too easy to get distracted or take naps if you don’t discipline yourself!
I try to keep distractions at a minimum and I try to stay away from the bed. 😀
Your tips are great, Hazel! (And you are so lucky to work from home! that is my dream for the future!) Anyway, these tips can definitely be applied to anyone who also works in an office, too! I will definitely bookmark this page to refer back to for when i am ‘working’ on my blog from home. These are tips I need to integrate into my home life! Thanks for sharing!
Awww nice to hear that these tips were helpful to you! Yes, I agree these could apply to those work in an office setup too! 🙂
I honestly wish I could work from home! That would be a dream! But, I am a dental hygienist so unfortunately that isn’t possible and we are carrying on at work just like business as usual.
Hi, Charity! Wow good luck with everything! And please stay safe! 🙏🏻
Such a great post! Thanks for sharing!
Carina | https://carinazz.blogspot.com/
Thank you for dropping by, Carina!💖
I’ve been working from home since 2012. About 3 years ago we had to move in with my 90 something Grandmother. She has had a really hard time understanding that I’m working and can’t be distracted or interrupted all the time. I build websites so especially when I’m coding it’s hard. But it’s their generation work looks like something different to them. Good list BTW.
I feel you, Arwen! My 84-year-old dad also doesn’t understand that I’m working from home and not just randomly browsing online! LOL! But good thing he doesn’t interrupt me anymore… that’s why it’s best to explain to them beforehand. 🙂
Really great tips! Thanks for sharing these!
Thank you for reading, Ellis! 💖
I work from home too and I totally agree that trying to keep a schedule similar to a regular working day helps. Getting ready motivates me for the day even if there’s no real need to ‘get ready’ that day. And I couldn’t function without a proper to-do list x
Yessss, to-do list is so essential to me too! Thanks for dropping by, Sophie! 💖
Some great tips!
It is a push sometimes but working out of bed makes such a difference sometimes. Also wont ruin the sleep schedule.
Thanks for reading, Angelica! Yes, definitely avoid working from bed! 😅
This post is so important! I have been self isolated for four days now, but today is the only day that I have actually been productive. I will definitely try to incorporate some of your tips into this.
I hope that you’re staying safe during this coronavirus outbreak, and are feeling well.
Have a good weekend!
Amy x Wandering Everywhere
Aww Amy, I hope you’re doing well during this whole lockdown period. 🙏🏻
5th point- I always do it 🙂
Oh yes, that’s definitely a must-do!
Working from home is something a lot of us is doing, especially with COVID going on. I love all of these tips on being productive while working at home. It is so important to have a nice workspace. This will determine our productivity. YESS on showering before working. BO builds so easily. I am big on minimizing distractions, especially snacking. Thanks for sharing all of these tips. Stay safe!
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
Hi, Nancy! Thank you for dropping by! Glad you find these tips useful! 🤗
I definitely start with a to- do list and try to get rid of any distractions around me.
Hope you’re doing well!
Hi, Radi! Hope you’re doing well, too! Thanks for dropping by! 🤗
These are really helpful tips! I usually work 9-5.30 in an office Monday – Friday and am now suddenly working from home, which has taken some getting used to!
Becca x | http://www.beccaloisblogs.co.uk
I hope you’re adjusting well to the changes already! Stay safe, Becca! 💖
These are such great tips! I struggle the most with distractions so I have to keep my phone away at all times!
I turn my internet off during working hours to avoid distractions, otherwise it will keep on sending notification pings from various apps and chat groups hahaha!
I’ve been working flexibly for a while – mostly from the office but from home here and there, and agree it’s so important to have some rules around working from home. I feel like that previous experience with working from home is coming in really handy now! I love your tips. Thanks for sharing and hope you’re well.
Hi, Katerina! Thanks for dropping by! Glad your past experience in working from home now comes in handy! 🙂
I work from home for over 10 years now, and I totally agree with your tips. I like wearing loungewear and PJs and having a working comfortable spot/space really helps, a lot! For some people like me, having a spotify playlist for work or a Netflix playing in the background helps with productivity too.
Anyway, stay safe and healthy!
xx Alyssa | STYLEVANITY
Oh yes, same! I can’t work properly without music! But I can’t with Netflix though – I’ll get nothing done when I combine that with work.
great content, been a home-based employee for quite some time now and its been a challenge for quite some time. Great tips!
Thanks so much for the tips! Super helpful, especially right now!
I went up here straight to this post. The “work from home” caught my attention in a snap. This is helpful as I noticed that I am sleepy and lazy recently. I am working in graveyard shift, and just working for an hour makes me want to go undertime. I will setup today a better workspace at home, maybe a music room to be a “temporary” office room for now. My supervisor advised me that our Work From Home setup will last until 2021. Thanks for this!
Glad this post was helpful for you, Adam! And yes, you should try to set up a better workspace so you can be more productive working from home. Good luck!
At the start of the lockdown, I was very hesitant to work from home because there was just no space and there were too many people in the house. But yeah, we were forced to adjust and we did. Now, I feel like I do follow all of your tips in here and working from home is just as productive as working in the office. Well, I still miss the brewed coffee and my walks to the bathroom for some reason. Anyways, thanks for these!!
Seems like you have adjusted to the work from home setup already! Good for you, Christian! 😁
Hello! This post is timely and really useful. Great tips! One that I would really need to practice is organizing my personal and work files. I will be decluttering my file folders soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Hi, Christine! Glad you find this post useful! Good luck on decluttering your files/folders!
I’ve been reading your blog posts about working from home! Just like many others, I lost an opportunity due to the pandemic. I’m actually kind of a fresh grad and I almost had a job but I’d rather take care of my health than risk it. I’m lucky enough to still have supportive parents who care about me.
I may add exercise first then go shower before starting the WFH realness. So that, nakakapag stretch at dumaloy muna ng maayos ang dugo bago umupo ng matagal haha. Danas na danas ko ate hazel!
Setting up a work schedule is something that I should definitely learn to do in the next few days. Ang hirap kasi mag-stick to a schedule. lol
Thank you for these great tips! I am currently struggling with working and studying at home because I am so comfortable in my space. I honestly believe with scheduling because you will be able to set your mind routinely.
I should work on “Constantly communicate and don’t hesitate to ask”. I am the type of person who does everything by herself. I tend to be so perfectionist that I though I can do everything better off alone. During the pandemic, it’s one hobby that I am focusing to master – communicating.
I agree with you on this — take lunch breaks and mini breaks! Breaks are essentials at work and in life, right! Hehe. Thanks for this reminder. I sometimes forget because of the usual ‘lunch meetings’ still at work. Grateful but yeah, noted really on the breaks! Keep writing!
Hello Hazel! This article particularly captured my interest because I am also working from home. I agree with all your tips! I just bought an office chair to make my office space more comfortable.
And yes, I’ve done everything on the list. Might I add, practice discipline in time. I have the tendency to go overtime because I’m just at home. Not realizing it’s unhealthy. Stay safe!
im a stay at home mom so I try to do something like blogging and recently, vlogging. so, I always have my own corner at home. though, i don’t have a regular routine talaga but it helps to have a corner I can go to anytime.
Yes, yes, YESSSS to all of the tips! I start working from home at the end of 2019 and let me tell you – it was super hard to adapt a new daily routine at the start. After working in a tech startup with a physical office for 4 years, being in my bedroom most of the time wasn’t helpful in picking up motivation. I rearranged my workspace, lessened distractions on my table, made sure I was wearing lounge wear (when not in meetings), and turned my back on my bed! Haha. Great article as always!
When I was working as a freelancer, I also do these tips of yours. Honestly, I can’t work or start my day without taking a shower so it’s the first thing I do before I start my day.