How to Stay Productive When Working from Home

By Taunya Renson-Martin | Mar 24, 2020

Navigating working from home isn't necessarily straightforward. Staying productive while maintaining a healthy work-life balance take practice - check out some of our team's helpful tips!

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Social distancing requirements, currently in place around the globe, mean that more and more of us are required to work exclusively from home. As companies prepare for long-term teleworking conditions, our team at Mach Media has a few best practices to help you stay productive:

Taunya Renson Martin ­– Founder and Managing Partner
Create an action plan for the day, especially when you have kids or pets to take care of. Remember, there is no “one-size-fits-all” for breaking up your day. Find what time management strategy works best for you to ensure you can hit all your tasks. For those who have to balance work and family responsibilities, connecting in advance with your loved ones can be extremely helpful. For example, will you both take a break from work at the same time to have lunch, or will you eat in shifts so one can take care of the kids while the other one eats? Have these conversations early in the week and continue to share any changes in your work agenda to make sure everyone’s needs and commitments are met.

Cameron Heffernan – Sales & Strategic Operations Director
Providing an agenda in advance is a good best practice for any meeting, but particularly for remote meetings, which can more easily drift off the rails. When sending out an invitation to a virtual meeting, put in key touchpoints you plan to go over with your colleagues in the email list. Not only will this keep everyone on track, but it will help other participants in the meeting to prepare, improving meeting efficiency and cutting down on wasted time.

Kim Bratanata – Director, North America
Routine is the magic word for productivity while teleworking. While it may be enticing to take advantage of the new-found flexibility of a work-from-home schedule, keeping normal working hours will guarantee you maintain the organization to hit all your deliverables. Sticking to a regular routine will also make it easier to develop a healthy work-life balance. If you start your day at the time you would normally leave for work, and you stay focused throughout the day, you’ll find you have a much longer evening to enjoy.

There are many more distractions at home, especially for those with others in the house with them. One solution is to use a visual element to show your family members when they can disturb you. For example, if you are working in an office or bedroom, you can use the door as a signaller to others in the house; closed means don’t disturb me, while half-open means you can come in if necessary. If you don’t have this option, perhaps use an article of clothing as a flag, hanging it up and taking it down to signal when you have a moment to talk.

One of the benefits of working from home is being able to take care of quick chores, such as putting laundry in the dryer or emptying the dishwasher, during the day. However, if you do, treat those as a break from sitting, just as you would go for a coffee when in an office. Then promptly return to your desk within five minutes. Do not use these chores as excuses to procrastinate. Going full-on Marie Kondo and cleaning your entire house is not an activity for work hours!