This week, March 2-6, we celebrate Telework Week in Virginia and DC. Teleworking can be incredibly convenient, as it cuts out commuting stress and costs, creates flexibility, and allows you to work without typical office distractions. Working from home has an abundant number of perks, but even the most focused teleworkers can get distracted at home.
For instance: the pile of clothes in your laundry basket, dirty dishes in the sink, the trash that needs to go out – your home can pull you in all directions, causing your productivity to suffer.
Whether you work from home every day or have the opportunity to enjoy Telework Week at home, we have six hacks for making Telework Week 2020 the most productive week of your year.
- Clear distractions before going to bed.
Waking up and being able to dive right into your work distraction-free is critical. Before you go to bed, put your dishes away, clear off your workspace, and if you’re a seasoned teleworker, get rid of what you know typically distracts from your workflow – after all, you know yourself best! And if you are an occasional teleworker, make a list of what distracts or bothers you, so that you can make the most of your telework days.
2. Get dressed as usual.
Get dressed as if you were heading into the office. While rolling out of bed and keeping your pajama pants on may be comfortable, your comfy clothes may cause you to feel like you are just hanging out at home, not working from home. Not only can getting dressed make you feel put together, but it can also help to boost your energy. Some teleworkers even report that putting their shoes on is a crucial step in getting dressed and feeling ready for the day when working at home. Always remember to dress for success, even at home!
3. Commute to your home office.
According to journalist Emily Price in her book Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More Work—That Actually Work!, leaving your house to take the dog on a walk or going to grab a cup of coffee in the mornings helps you to gain focus and get into work mode.
4. Designate a workspace.
Designate a specific area in your home as your workspace. This space should signal that it is ready to sit down and start working. Whether it be your kitchen table or an entire room, choose a distraction-free, comfortable spot. Natural light is also a plus.
5. Take a break.
Step away from your desk periodically to give your brain and body a refresh. We all need this, even during a workday in the office. Whether you take a walk around the block, drink a cup of coffee while flipping through a magazine, or enjoy lunch away from your workspace, these little breathers are essential.
6. Transition from office hours.
End the workday on an organized note. For many of us, disorganization often leads to unproductive days. End your workday by straightening up your desk, closing out your browsers, and getting prepared to start fresh tomorrow. Take a few minutes to close out your day. A little will go a long way when jumping back online. Here are some tips: jot down where you are leaving off, make a list with outstanding tasks, check your calendar for the next day, throw out any old papers or trash, and set any meetings or reminders.
Happy Telework Week, and we hope these tips help make your telework days productive. For additional resources and information on getting a telework program started for your company, visit Telework VA’s website.