Four Keys to Working from Home and Long-term Productivity
The New Norm and How to Stay Productive Working at Home
One year ago, few people thought that the world would be facing the challenge of a global pandemic and quarantine. With being forced to work from home, many people are facing the dilemma of being productive in an environment that is not their norm.
Now is not the time to debate the benefits of working from home versus working in an office environment. Now is the time to be engaged and productive as you adjust to working from home.
At ZipperAgent, we have team members that occasionally work from home and remote teams. We know from experience what works for people in the office and for people that work at home. As you face the challenge of working from home as a real estate professional, we decided to share our experiences with you. The following are keys to productivity for a home-based workday based on our expertise.
How a typical workday is built for productivity
The workday, in general, comprises a typical routine that is tied around commuting, office tasks, coffee breaks, lunch, followed by more work and possibly more coffee breaks. All of this takes place in a specific location, and generally within a certain time frame. Our daily schedules in the office are built around this routine.
When you work from home, that routine is missing. No set time to be in the office, no free coffee in the break room, and no laughing at the joke a coworker shared.
Breaking this routine for one day is not so bad and may even provide a little relief. One week may feel like a vacation, but when the weeks pile up and start turning into months, you may begin to think that you are being tested.
What ways can you prepare for a productive outcome in the weeks ahead?
The discussion starts with defining what a productive work routine is. We have found that a productive work routine begins with the crucial first hours of the day.
How long is your regular commute? Ten minutes? 45 minutes? An Hour? How do you usually spend that time? Listening to relaxing music? Making phone calls? Stopping to get coffee? Take that time and do similar things at home before starting your workday.
If you usually start working from home for an hour before going into the office, follow that routine. Included the break that is provided by your commute.
Your day typically is divided into blocks of time. Quantify those blocks and stick to them. If you read the newspaper on the subway going to work and the commute takes 30 minutes, spend 30 minutes reading the paper before work.
There are perks to working from home so incorporate them into your routine
Many people that work from home stress that the home environment has fewer distractions than the office; it is more practical and, it is more comfortable. While these perks vary from person to person, use them to your advantage. The one-hour lunch break can be replaced with a home project, walking the dog, or making that recipe you saw on-line.
Those time slots are critical to your home productivity. Recent research has suggested that the average office worker is productive for only two hours and 53 minutes during an average eight-hour day. (Read the report)
People often realize that when you fill in the time slots productively, it is easy, when working from home, to get up, start working for the day, and still be sitting at your desk working 12 or more hours later.
To avoid burnout you need to incorporate the benefits and perks of working from home into your routine. It will lead to more productivity by creating a happier and calmer mindset.
A productive environment
Part of the routine of working in an office is having a set place to work. This concept is also essential when working from home. Of course, at home, you can talk business on the phone while going from the kitchen to the living room, but one place should be set aside for working. Have you noticed that talk show hosts and newscasters now forced to work from home do so from the same room repeatedly? As these people have said, “This is there new norm, their new workspace.”
Most people feel that the ideal scenario is a separate room set up as a home office.
You know that a separate room for working is not available to everyone.
What you can do is assign one spot as the place where you will work your magic. It could be the kitchen table, a stool, a desk, or someplace else. The critical point is that when you are at your designated place, it is the place where work gets done. This designated workspace is vital to establishing the mindset of productivity.