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How to be productive while working from home

1024 683 Nisha Muire

Since Toronto was locked down in March, many people have been asked to work from home. Working from home comes naturally to some people, and can be a real struggle for others. The way to ensure efficient and productive time in your home office requires just a little effort. With the right structure in place, you can get just as much done while working at home as you could in an office. Here are a few guidelines that will help you maximize your time and get the most out of your work-at-home experience.

Create routine
Just because you don’t have to get dressed in the morning, doesn’t mean you should indulge in wearing pyjamas all day. Getting up at your usual time and getting ready just as you would if you were leaving the house will get you mentally prepared to work. It will also make your home feel more like an office. Make sure to schedule in your breaks, including a lunch hour, and stick to them. Don’t let housework, kids, and friends distract you.

Set boundaries
It is very easy for family members to see you working from home and assume that you are free to make them lunch, do laundry, drive them to a friend’s house, mail a letter, etc… A good way to prevent these interruptions – especially if you have important calls or meetings to attend is to alert everyone to your schedule. Let your family know that between XX time and XX time you are “at work” and should not be disturbed. You can also create a system that signals when you can be interrupted (emergencies) and when you can’t. It can be as simple as hanging a “do not disturb” sign outside your office.

Prioritize your work
Having a schedule of what needs to get done each day, will give you a clear goal to reach and will help you focus. Without a good schedule, it is very easy to lose track of important deadlines and priorities.

Have a dedicated workstation
Designating one spot in your home as your office is the best way to ensure success while working from home. Make sure you have a large enough desk or table, plenty of light and a comfortable, supportive work chair.

Keep in touch with boss and coworkers
Working from home can be isolating, so it is good to keep in touch with your boss and your coworkers daily. Touch base with them frequently during the day.

Working from home definitely has its advantages. As long as you are able to create that workspace that helps you concentrate and you stick to a routine, you’ll find that you can be just as productive – if not moreso, from the comfort of home.


Nisha Muire

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