How to be productive while working remotely

How to be productive while working remotely
By: Beth Ireland Last Updated: March 19, 2020

So, you’re working from home for the time being. Of course, it’s great. The commute is super short, your pet is happy, and yeah, it’s casual Friday every day (And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s more than casual. PJs, anyone?)

In transitioning from office to home, many of us are trying to figure out how to make this work. Just how do you stay productive and not get sucked into a major Netflix binge-watching session? How do you work amid the daily life of your home and family? Fear not fellow remote workers! Our team has put together some tips on how you can be productive.

Jenny Craig-Brown - Executive Team Leader

•Have a specific workspace set up to help be most productive. I like to sit high or stand so I have my space set up at my breakfast bar area in my kitchen. This is the perfect height and perfectly lit area. 

•Keep it simple: Make sure you work in a space that is clean and clutter-free but has just what you need to be productive. This will take away from your distractions. 

•Keep your routine: Try to keep your daily routine as close to normal as possible, just remove the part where you drive to the office. If you normally get up, eat breakfast and go to the gym, do all those things but workout at home. If you always prep your food the night before, do that too. 

•Use the tech we have: We have every opportunity to connect with people without connecting in person. Use email, phone, text, Facebook Messenger, and video chat to stay as connected as possible. Often, communicating with someone via call or video chat is helpful because you can see their face and hear their tone. This makes communication more clear and will help things get across faster. 

•Separate family time and work time: Let your family know you really do need to focus and separate yourself from them.

Chris Mahlmann - Founder and CEO

When you are at work, there are so many distractions that keep your focus on the immediate, and that stops you from thinking longer-term and making great plans for the future. Use the downtime free from calls and people in the office to lay out what you want your work life to be like once you are back in the office. Rather than think that you are forced out of the office, think of it as an opportunity to break free of your normal patterns and imagine how effective you could be with a fresh perspective.

Kayla Belec - Contributing Editor

The biggest way I maintain productivity at home is by designating a workspace. As much as I’d love to, I have a hard time focusing when I’m sitting on a couch in front of the TV. I do like some background noise, though, so I’ll often put the TV on and work from the dining room table or work in the spare room in my house with music playing. Getting up and moving around is key. In terms of new ways to be productive, I’m going to try to journal more. I think this will be a very interesting time of life to look back on, and hopefully share with my children/loved ones someday.

Julia Demma - Contributing Editor

Being productive at home can be tricky sometimes, especially when your dog is giving you those droopy eyes saying, “Please pay attention to me.” I’ve found that having some background music, throwing the dog a bone or new toy, and making a point to take a lunch hour away from your screen does wonders for your focus. Try to get fresh air, make a healthy snack, and do some stretching. Then, lock in and get it done. You got this!

Stacey Kellogg - Editorial Director

I’m fortunate that good news never stops, and that online news is my business. So I can stay highly productive from a remote environment, which means workdays are busy for me regardless of social distancing. When working remotely, I get dressed (no jammies), stay out of the kitchen (I love to cook and will just gravitate to that), and take at least one half-hour break to be outside - rain, snow, sleet, hail, or virus. Connecting with nature energizes and refreshes me, so I can return to work focused and ready to move on.

Stephanie Swearington - Director of Operations & HR

A couple of things that might be good are finally unpacking those last few boxes from the move. Everyone has these tucked away in the basement. The other thing would be to purge your closets from all the clothes you have been meaning to go through. Start a clothing exchange with friends. You give your old clothes to them and they give their old clothes to you. Odds are you will find things you haven’t worn in a long time. When everyone is not keeping their distance, make the exchange. It can be for outgrown clothing exchanges for kids too!

Kelsea Costello - Publishing & Social Media Editor

Take some time to go through and organize a space or junk drawer that you haven't given some attention to in a while. Throw on a good playlist of songs you love or a podcast episode and you'll barely notice that you're cleaning. When you've finished you'll feel such a sense of accomplishment for finally tackling something that's been on your to-do list for likely quite some time. 

Clear out your inbox. Make folders for important emails you need to keep, and delete all the emails from businesses you barely shop at that just seem to build up so quickly. Also, unsubscribe from said businesses email chains. It feels so great to have that notification number go from 500 to 5.

Kami Tupak - Administrative Assistant

For me, it is all about everything that has fallen through the cracks, both literally and figuratively.  Going through the rooms in your house and deep cleaning while also throwing away everything you don't need. It always feels good to declutter and organize those closets and kitchen cabinets that find their way to the end of the list because you've run out of time. Then for the relaxing part when you are done cleaning, I always recommend reading. Several library systems offer apps so you can download books from your local library, but I've always used Kindle Unlimited.