Work from Home Diary: How Employees Can Stay Focused
By Hani Khan
Day 2: Tuesday, March 17
With the news of the ‘Shelter-in-place’ across 6 Bay Area counties, where Simpplr headquarters and many of its employees are located, it has been distraction after distraction as new information pours in from multiple outlets. From breaking news on TV to twitter updates to texts from close family and friends checking in, being productive and getting work done has become a chore. When you’re working from home, it’s a personal responsibility to set your own schedule and find a workspace that works best for you. For me, sitting in the living room or breakfast table didn’t prove to be productive with the TV right there (Hello daytime television, how I’ve missed you so). It also doesn't help having a cute, fluffy cat in front of you demanding cuddles. There’s no commute, no dress code but way more distractions. Here are some tips to stay focused when working from home:
Have a dedicated workspace
It’s so easy to sit on the couch or stay in bed to work from your laptop but that can prove to be a major distraction, who doesn’t want to be cozy in bed and doze off for a quick nap...or two. Having an official home set up with a monitor, keyboards and sitting a proper desk or table sets the tone for a working environment. A clear distinction between ‘home’ and ‘work’ ensures that you have proper boundaries when it comes to work vs non-work time.
Create a schedule
Your WFH schedule should attempt to mimic your in-office schedule. If you spend the first 15 minutes of your day creating a to-do list, do the same and don’t let your email inbox or instant messages disrupt the flow of your work schedule. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish in the day to make sure you stay on track and start crossing things off your list.
By being at home all day, it’s so tempting to get the household chores out of the way by running the dishwasher, prepping for a family meal or running a load of laundry. Instead, use that as a break from a productive work session or get around to it towards the end of the working day as you would if you were going into the office.
Use video conferencing with the camera on
A great method of accountability for not only you but your team. This allows you to stay focused on the conversation and engage in the conversation instead of multitasking like in an audio call. Video conferencing helps employees working from home focus by encouraging participation and builds personal connections.
Stay off social media
The biggest culprit of all, is there anything more tempting than seeing what Aunty Karen is up to on Facebook or what the latest topic trending is on Twitter? A quick scroll turns into the biggest time suck. If self-restraint is difficult, there are multiple web extensions or apps that restrict access.