Coronavirus known as COVID-19 is forcing millions of people to work from home.
How can you maintain your productivity when you can't go into the office? As current home workers know, it requires a change in your routine – and your workspace.
How to Become a COVID-19 Work-from-Home Superstar
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your work-from-home time more productive. Here are five of the most useful tips you can employ if you're new to telecommuting thanks to coronavirus restrictions.
1. Create a Comfortable Workspace—and Make It Yours
When you're working from home it's important to have a dedicated workspace. If you have a room you can use as a home office – even if it's just a spare bedroom – use it. Otherwise, try to carve out some space in an existing room, like a corner of your living room or bedroom, or the end of your dining room table. Create your space and make it yours – and make sure other family members know not to disturb you while you're working.
Your workspace also needs to be a comfortable space. If you have a desk, that's great. You may want to consider buying a swivel office chair that you can adjust for your personal comfort. If you don't have a dedicated desk, think about using a laptop work table, like the Cooper Mega Table. The Mega Table becomes your desk, giving you a workspace for your laptop, papers, and cell phone. This solution lets you work on the sofa or in your bed – wherever you choose to set up your mobile office.
2. Get a Good Keyboard
When you're working on your computer for eight or more hours you need a comfortable, ergonomic keyboard. Some workers are happy with the keyboards built into their laptops, but a full-size external keyboard might be more comfortable and increase your productivity.
A separate physical keyboard is also essential if you do a lot of your work from a tablet. Onscreen typing is okay for short periods of time but not for extended work sessions. A folio case that includes a Bluetooth keyboard, like one of Cooper's tablet keyboard cases, is ideal for home office use.
3. Set a Schedule – and Keep to It
When you work in an office your workday is defined by the business' hours. When you work from home, you have to set your own schedule. If you're used to going into the office at 8 and working till 5, then create a similar 8-to-5 routine at home. Yes, you have more flexibility when you work from home, but don't abuse it. Set a work schedule and stick to it – don't let yourself get off track due to any household distractions.
4. Do Video Conferencing
Although you might think you're working alone when you're at home, you still need to be connected to your co-workers in the outside world. Take advantage of Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and other similar services to strike up one-on-one and group video chats with the people you used to associate with in person. Face-to-face communication is important – and even more so when you and your colleagues are in separate locations.
Video conferencing should be only part of your daily communications. You need to use all the tools at your disposal – instant messaging, emails, phone calls, and more – to let everyone know what you're up to and find out what they're doing. You don't need long communications but you need frequent ones. It's easy to feel isolated when you're working from home and overcommunicating will help you overcome that.