(This article was written by Amway and appeared on Forbes.com.)
Working from home comes with its fair share of distractions and can be difficult to adjust to.
With the current pandemic forcing millions of people to stay home, it may be even more difficult to look after your family while trying to manage your workload. However, a successful work-life integration is possible with a few tips.
Stick with Your Existing Routine to Promote Wellness
Maintaining your regular routine can help establish workplace wellness. According to Enrepeneur.com, “The real power in routines is the way they can help us build momentum, break bad habits, prioritize our lives and make us more efficient.” Here’s how you can integrate your regular routine into your new stay-at-home life:
- Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time everyday
- Get dressed and start your typical morning regimen
- Check-in with your colleagues as if you were in the office
- Don’t just pour a cup of coffee—take a coffee break
- Start and end your workday at the same time
Designate Your Work from Home Location
If working from home is new and unfamiliar, you may need to create a separate space to minimize distractions. Digital marketing author Shannon Belew explains, “You’ll want to define a professional work area that separates your business from your personal life whether you’re self-employed or telecommuting. Its location, lighting, and confinement of clutter are all important.” Take these steps to create the perfect home office:
- Designate an area strictly for work: Avoid working from your bed or couch. Instead, pick an area where you can sit upright and focus.
- Free your space of distractions: Your workspace should be set away from others. Block out distractions with physical barriers, such as a door or dividers.
- Purchase office equipment: Be sure you have all the tools needed to successfully complete your job. Equipment like a comfortable chair and wireless mouse can help boost productivity.
- Keep your workspace organized: A messy work environment can lead to procrastination or quitting on a task all together. Stay focused by keeping a clean desk.
Set Your Work Hours
While working from home offers a lot of flexibility, it can also interrupt productivity. According to Porch, “More than three-quarters of work-from-home employees watched TV on the clock at least once, and nearly 17 percent reported always doing so.” The next biggest work detractor was doing personal tasks. “Nearly two-thirds of workers admitted checking items off their personal to-do lists while getting paid. In a similar vein, over 35 percent left home to run errands during working hours.” Set your office hours, and only step away from work during your scheduled breaks or lunchtime in order to stay on task. Likewise, after your set hours, log off your computer and try to refrain from checking your work email throughout the evening.
Schedule Breaks for Yourself During the Day
While it’s important to remain focused during work hours, it can also be beneficial to take short breaks. According to Ferris Jabr, Psychology Today author, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.” Successful work-life integration is all about finding the right balance. Here’s how you can integrate the two:
- Block off time on your calendar to take a break
- Set a reminder to stretch or go for a short walk
- Eat your lunch away from your workspace
- Schedule calls to socialize with your coworkers
- Stick to dedicated work hours
Use Video to Connect
Use video conferencing to connect with your coworkers. When you’re in a physical office, your colleagues serve as natural motivators. However, meeting over a video chat can have the same effect. According to Vonage’s website, “Having face time matters when it comes to building teams that can work together to effectively accomplish their goals.” Collaborating with others over video is a simple way to build meaningful human interactions—especially if you’ve found that remote work has been hampering your productivity and mental wellbeing. After all, two heads are better than one.
Create Processes for Collaboration
A solid process should give everyone the tools needed to deliver their best work from anywhere. Employees should know what is expected of them and what projects are due to avoid confusion or delays. If you don’t have a process that can be used for working remotely, create one.
- Set weekly meetings: Touch base with your team members to identify what everyone is working on and where assistance is needed.
- Document everything: The more visibility you can give your team the better. Create a shared document so people can see what everyone is working on.
- Give regular feedback: Don’t wait until a performance review to give feedback. Compliment good work and bring awareness to inconsistencies to keep the workflow moving.
- Adjust accordingly: If something isn’t working, change it. What worked before may not be successful now—don’t be afraid to create a new process.
Working from home may be an entirely new and challenging experience for some people. The key to achieving a successful work-life integration is to find what works best for you. Have confidence in your ability to adapt and try to find a comfortable work-life balance.