Around the world, millions of people are working now from home every day — for a longer period than ever before — as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. While we follow the advice of medical and scientific experts and authorities, Holly Samimi, our superstar Head of Engineering Operations has some helpful hints for how to make everyday count… from your couch!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve never worked from home for longer than a few days tops. While workplaces are making the sensible decision and following advice by asking people to work from home for the next little while, staying connected and staying motivated will be a challenge.
So here are a few things I am doing to keep making progress on essential work, while staying in touch with my team and keeping safe as countries like mine, Denmark, shut down.
- Start your day off right
It might sound like a good idea to lay in bed and take it easy each day, but that can mean your whole day’s productivity can be affected and you won’t get the things done that you need to do.
You’ll be more productive if you actually get up and start your day as you normally would. Make a coffee. Jump in the shower. Follow your normal morning routine and get your mind ready to crush this day from your home office!
- Create a workspace
The set-up of your workspace can have a big impact on your creativity, how comfortable it is to work and whether you can find the right device or bit of paper you need to do your work. Find a place that works for you at home (for me, it’s my kitchen) and set up your computer and workspace in a way that’s as comfortable and convenient as possible.
- Make a schedule
Some of us will find the next few weeks mean the tasks we’re working on will either seem like far too much or far too little. No matter how big your to-do list is, set your day into blocks so you can stay on track and map your progress.
As much as possible, team meetings will continue via video conferencing so I try to plan my tasks around those and then make sure I set the priorities accordingly once the meeting is done!
- Minimise distractions
Ok, this one will be hard if you have kids. Or a cat that wants food.
But distractions can be tempting. Maybe you make coffee more regularly or do the laundry to procrastinate. These things — like the laundry — can obviously be productive, but should be minimised so your core tasks are accomplished. A fed cat and a full basket of folded up clothes are a bonus after doing what you actually need to get done.
- Make the most of saved commute time
Commutes come in all shapes and forms. For most of us in Planday’s Copenhagen office, the commute is a pretty chill bike ride along the city’s famous bike lanes. But for colleagues in places where the tube, a bus or a car ride is part of your everyday, there’s a big chunk of time waiting for you to take advantage of now your office is metres away from your bedroom.
Maybe there’s a guitar sitting in the corner that needs some love or a book you’ve been meaning to read for too long, or even a chance to call people who — like you — are at home for longer periods of time than they have been in a long time. Pick up the phone, grab the guitar or do whatever makes you feel good and maximise that time you’re not in peak-hour.
- End your day on time
This one’s a biggie. All the tools that make working from home a possibility don’t magically switch off when your normal day ends. Many of us have colleagues who work in different timezones — Plandayers are spread far and wide at the moment! — and while someone might be responding to something at a time that’s convenient for them, it’s important to end your day as you normally would and leave it for something to get done tomorrow.
And as always, don’t forget: communication is key. And if that’s something you or your business needs right now, we have a team of people here to help you make that happen.