Working from Home: Finding Productivity in this New Normal

During this time of adjusting to a new normal, one of the most difficult things that I have had to get used to is being productive in my own home. Work from home (WFH) days are embraced by some people and not by others. For me, transitioning from working in an office and school setting, to working at-home and completing online courses, has led me on a search for answers about how to get the most out of my day. After creating a productive at-home work environment for me, I wanted to share some of my findings with you.

Here are some of the tips that I have found useful:

Section out a portion of your home for work only.

When I first started working from home, I moved room to room working wherever I felt most comfortable. I soon found this affected my organization and time management, so I started keeping all my work in one area. Now, as I sit here writing this post, I know where all of my work is, and I also know that when I walk out of this area I can ‘power down’ my mind knowing I no longer have to do work.

Power off your electronics when not working.

I have found this extremely hard because when you are working from home, work and your personal life are combined. Many times, I have found myself working on projects or sending emails past normal times if I was still working in the office. Having the ability to power off my work electronics has given me a sense of normalcy and structure in the day to know when it is time to work and when it is not.

Avoid social isolation.

With social distancing in full effect, it can make you feel isolated with not having any social interactions. To keep this from happening, use video calls instead of just audio so you can interact with coworkers, friends, and family and feel like you are there in-person. This has especially helped me with the feeling of ‘cabin fever’. It makes spending most of my time in my home not so uncomfortable

While this new normal may take some time getting used to, we embrace some of the new opportunities we have with it! With this new WFH style, I have learned there are many new things I am able to do now. I have substantially more time put back into my day with not having to drive to work, pack my lunch, and did I say get fully ready?

Here are some things I have found that I can embrace more:

Phone calls with family, friends, and coworkers.

As we all know with social distancing, we cannot communicate with those we love most in-person. Luckily, through technology such as our phones or video calling platforms, we still can talk with others just like we are there with them. Sometimes with a more flexible WFH schedule, it is easier to find a time with these people to speak with where you did not have that option before.

Taking that lunch break walk that is always forgotten about.

Recently, I have rediscovered my love for lunchtime walks. I, like many others, often find us working through this period because we are around our coworkers where questions are asked constantly which results in us working through this time. Without having some of these interference’s, I now can get my work done in an efficient manner, which allows me to have that small break to get re-energized for the rest of the day.

Being kind to myself.

Although this may be the cheesiest topic of them all, it is one of the most critical. This is a new life transition that everyone has had to take, and sometimes stressful is an understatement. So, I have learned that during this time I can make an extra cup of coffee in the morning or have that midday snack to brighten up the day.

After embracing all of the points I have made above, I was able to successfully utilize my time and make the most of it. Recently even, I just graduated from my degree program and am in the final stretch of my internship. Although the days have a different structure to them, I was able to incorporate many of these strategies to hit my goals and more.

Hopefully, after reading through some of these points, we can all step back and reflect on what truly matters in our lives. I know I will be, and maybe you’ll see me taking my lunch walk in your local neighborhood!

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Grant Kees is a social media intern who recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Master's in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Data Analytics. He is a lover of charcuterie boards, skiing, farmer's markets, and traveling.

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