Updated: Mar 15, 2021
It is safe to say that a lot has changed in our world over the past year. The social and economic upheaval brought on by Covid-19 transformed millions of lives across the world, and a year later we are still feeling the effects of what the virus has done to our day-to-day lives. One of the biggest day-to-day changes for many of us has been transitioning to a work-from-home environment on an indefinite or permanent basis. Working from home can bring on new and unique challenges that make staying focused and productive more difficult than before. Here are some of the things we’ve learned through navigating working from home over the last year!
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace that is not associated with leisure time increases focus and helps put you in the right frame of mind. This also helps set boundaries and expectations with family and friends so that they can respect your work time. As much as possible, try to ensure your chosen space is free from loud noises and other distractions. Your workspace should also be functional, comfortable and free of clutter. Regardless of where you’re working, investing in a comfortable chair and/or standing desk can make a huge difference for your body over time. At Avenue, it’s important our team members are equipped with the tools for a comfortable and functional workspace. We’ve supplied the Avenue team with Jarvis sit-stand desks from Fully, a fellow B Corp, for a flexible at-home workspace.
2. Plan Ahead for What You’ll Be Working on for the Day
Without proper planning, the day can slip away from you leading to incomplete projects or missed deadlines. One of the most helpful tools is implementing the 80-20 rule. The 80-20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions, to increase productivity identify the 20% of your work that produces the greatest impact and prioritize that. It’s best to identify upcoming priorities the day before, rather than once the day has already started to kick your day off on the right foot.
3. Establish and Stick to a Schedule
Creating and sticking to a schedule helps to hold yourself accountable and avoid distractions throughout the day. Once you have a schedule established, make sure it is visible to your colleagues so that it is easy to schedule time for collaboration and key check-ins.
4. Take Scheduled Breaks
It is essential to schedule strategic pauses throughout your workday in order to recharge mentally, physically and emotionally. In addition to planning when to take a scheduled break, it is also important to plan how you will use that break to recharge. This can be in the form of taking time to have lunch, a snack, stretching or getting outside for a walk.
5. Create a Process for Collaboration
Working from home can make team collaboration more difficult so it’s important to have a system in place that allows for regular check-ins and effective communication. Consider utilizing tools like Slack that offer instant messaging whereas emails can easily become cluttered and lost in inboxes. For more in-depth discussions or team projects, video conferencing is best. Both of these tools can be extremely helpful in keeping rapport between team members when not sharing a physical workspace.
If there’s anything else we’ve learned from the past year of working from home, it’s to give yourself some grace. Working from home is tough, at times it can feel like the separation between your personal home life and work-life has blurred. Balancing home life and work-life can present new challenges and barriers so be sure to connect with your team on a regular basis on how to navigate work while also caring for your home, family, navigating life through a pandemic, and prioritizing your mental health.
Please note that Avenue has no affiliation with any products, services, or websites referenced in this blog post. Avenue is a digital marketing agency in Portland using business as a force for good. Our proprietary suite of paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media services help brands and businesses of all sizes grow sustainably and successfully. For more information, we invite you to visit our services page.