To those individuals confronting the new 2020 reality that is the ‘House Lock-Down’, you may be comforted to know that adjusting to home living…and working, is a challenge for all those who take part.
But fear not, when it comes to working from home, OMG Cool Facts has your back. Here are some top tips to keeping productivity levels high, endorphins pumping, and minds focussed. You might just never transition back.
(Or for when coffee is the answer, see our Top 10 Caffeine Filled Reasons Why We Should All Drink Coffee)
1. Invest in a standing desk
This will help alleviate lower back or hip pain and promote better health. But this doesn’t mean you should just stand all day… Jive around the house and take advantage of different locations throughout your home. New locations inspire creativity, encourage different ergonomic positions and benefit from alternative views and sounds.
2. Take walking meetings
Take phone calls outside. Pick up your headphones and get out the house! It’s great for your muscles, your heart, your happiness and overall well-being.
3. Eat well!
Too many times I used to get caught in the “I have nothing to eat” scenario and just snack on energy bars and anything else I could find in the house. While you don’t need elaborate meals, make it a point to have a fridge stocked with fresh fruit, cut up veggies, hard-boiled eggs, greens and proteins such as chicken breasts, tuna or whatever you love. For example, check out why Cherries have 6 Amazing Health Benefits.
For those who are new to working from home, below are seven other tips that thriving CEOs I connected with over email have applied to make their businesses and teams productive and enjoyable as possible.
4. Apply the ROWE mindset
Tim Jones, CEO of Precision Nutrition, an online nutrition and healthy lifestyle coaching and certification company, applies the ROWE mindset. ROWE stands for “results-only work environment,” and Jones encourages it because it helps remove concerns managers may have around employee productivity.
“We don’t track hours or care about how you do your work, as long as you’re getting the results,” Jones said. “By focusing on goals and metrics, the old-school idea of how much time was spent sitting at a desk quickly goes out the door.”
5. It’s OK to mix work and life
Terry Traut, CEO of Entelechy, a company that develops leadership development, management, and customer experience training programs for Comcast, National Grid, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sprint, DIRECTV, Constant Contact and others, urges people to “just go with the flow” and try not to be so rigid with separating work life and home life.
Traut explains, “Instead of trying to force yourself to be productive when you’re not, or to relax when your mind’s whirling, just go with the flow. Don’t feel guilty for that time you got up at 3:00 a.m. to document a brilliant thought. Likewise, don’t feel guilty for that afternoon walk in the woods. You’ll find yourself more productive and happier.”
6. Select and set up your tech, strategically
Working at home can mean overlapping with other family members’ activities and schedules. Andrey Khusid, CEO of Miro, a whiteboarding platform for team collaboration, encourages having multiple devices enabled with all of your work apps. This helps you be as flexible as possible.
“For complex and collaborative work, connect your laptop to a large monitor so you can easily navigate between tools for videoconferencing, chatting, project management and whiteboarding,” says Khusid. “Rely on your tablet or smartphone — with their long battery life and webcam — for quick Slack responses or hours of Zoom calls as you’re on the go.” A remote tech stack example could be:
Zoom — for videoconferencing
Slack — for chat
Google Suite — for spreadsheets, simple docs
Spotify — for focus
7. Transfer your commute time to intentional rest time
John Fitch & Max Frenzel, co-authors of Time Off Book (out in May) suggest that we calculate the amount of time we normally have to commute and translate that time to our “rest” allowance. This is time for us to detach from our work. Instead of starting our day off by stressing out about getting somewhere on time, invest that time into either a relaxing ritual that gets you to a calm and clear state of mind or invest it into winding down your day so that you don’t form a habit of working into the night. The authors explain how this commute time can be a time to set an intentional container for separating work and leisure at home.
8. Remove distractions and set a schedule for these distractions
What distractions are around you? Nettie Owens, a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and founder of Momentum Millionaire Network, tells us to think about these distractions and plan your work around them. For example, will noise be an issue at home (while the kids are possibly home, too)? If so, noise-canceling headphones are a must.
Set a schedule to let your family know, “I am going to be working from 8 am to noon, then taking a break for lunch.” This helps ensure you can focus without the nagging questions. In addition, you may need to set up some structure for the family to have activities or tag team working with your partner.
Is social media a distraction? Then download a social media blocking tool and set your “work hours.” Are you hungry? Decide on designated snack times. Unwashed laundry? Plan to do chores before and after work, and decide how much time you will dedicate to these tasks.