4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

4 Easy Ways To Set Work From Home Boundaries

Now that so many professionals are working from home for the inevitable future, it’s essential to draw boundaries. Just because your home and workspaces are now the same, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have clear boundaries between the two. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, over 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home. In order to avoid this burnout, you must draw a line between your work duties and home sanctuary. Keep reading for four easy ways to set work from home boundaries to keep your productivity and relaxation at a maximum.

Create A Schedule

The best way to set boundaries for yourself is to create a strict schedule. More importantly, stick to it! We recommend actually scheduling your breaks to ensure that you step away from work consistently. You can even go as far as setting an alarm to signify the end of the workday. This will really help you avoid burnout by drawing a line in the sand between work and home life.

Establish A Defined Workspace

It can be tempting to lounge on the couch all day when you work from home. However, that does blur the line a bit between your two worlds. Not only can it affect your productivity for work, but it can also make you feel obligated to work when you should be relaxing. Choose a designated spot in your home, whether it’s a spare bedroom, a corner of your kitchen table, or even an impromptu card table. Then, use that space for work and only work!

Turn Off Notifications

Most professionals don’t need to be available 24/7. So, when you’re off the clock, make sure to turn off the notifications on your phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally check email in case an emergency pops up, but it will avoid messages from night owl coworkers disrupting your personal time.

Get Outside

During your scheduled breaks, or even if you just get overwhelmed during the workday, step outside! Take a few moments to soak in the sun, get some fresh air, and clear your mind. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after just a quick jaunt outside.

When you work from home, it’s in everyone’s best interest for your to establish clear boundaries. Ultimately, it will boost your productivity, allow you to stay on top of your home life, and help you avoid burnout. Looking for more work from home tips? Explore our collection of articles!

Take PTO During the Pandemic

Why You Should Take PTO During the Pandemic

Have you taken any vacation or PTO during the pandemic? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by JSG indicates that 66% of people haven’t taken any time off throughout the pandemic. It can be challenging to justify taking time off with everything going on in the world right now – tight on funds, unemployment, difficulties traveling, limited activities available, etc. However, forgoing your vacation time starts to take a significant toll on your work productivity and happiness. Despite the virus, here is why you should take PTO during the pandemic.

The side effects of not taking PTO right now

It can be discouraging to take PTO given our current global pandemic. However, there are so many side effects of not utilizing your PTO, especially if you are working remotely. In fact, professionals working from home have an average workday that is 48.5 minutes longer than those working from the office. When working from home, the lines between work and home are easily blurred, making it difficult for you to unplug from your job. As a result, employee burnout is at an all-time high.

To mitigate this, you should be utilizing some of those PTO days that you have worked hard to earn. Even if it’s just a day or two, utilizing your vacation days will help lower stress, improve mental health, boost productivity, and increase job satisfaction. Harvard Business Review found that employees that use at least ten vacation days each year are 30% more likely to receive a raise. Plus, those who take regular vacations have higher job satisfaction. Obviously, this is easier said than done for many workers. Sometimes you feel that you have too much work to take time off, or maybe your manager is very approachable when it’s time to request some PTO days. Regardless of your situation, it is crucial for your health and quality of work to take time off, especially with all the extra stressors in each of our lives.

What can you do with those PTO days right now?

Besides financial reasons, the biggest excuse for not using some of those PTO days is the lack of activities to do right now. Sure, you may not be able to book a 7-day trip to Maui during the pandemic safely, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your time off to unplug from work and relax.

You don’t have to have an elaborate plan to enjoy some time away from work. You can go on a camping trip, go for a hike, take a day-trip to the lake, go for a long drive, or even just take a day off to do some yard work around the house. Whatever you decide to do, plan it in advance. It will give you something to look forward to and help you keep that motivation up!

Just be sure to unplug from work. Set an out of office message for your email and try not to check your phone. You will return with a better attitude, less stress, and a boost in motivation.

Stay Productive While Working from Home

How to Stay Productive While Working from Home

Are you still working from home? If so, you are definitely not alone. Millions of workers across the country have been working from home for over four months. Some of us are thriving in our new work environment, while others may be feeling burnt out. The days are blending together, our kids will likely be going back to school soon, and the lines between work and home are getting a little blurry. As a result, your productivity may be a bit lackluster. If this sounds like your current situation, here are a few tips to stay productive while working from home.

Establish a schedule

You may have a little more flexibility while working remotely; however, you should establish a schedule and stick to it. Try to wake up at the same time and stick with a morning routine, whatever that may look like. Essentially, you should treat your day as you would if you were heading to the office. Wake up, make some coffee, do a quick workout, or whatever you typically do before making your way to the office. Establishing a schedule will help make your workday feel more consistent and boost your productivity all day long.

Create a to-do list the day before

One of the best tips for staying productive while working from home is to make a to-do list the night before. How many times have you woke up, got ready, sat down at your desk, and started stressing about what you need to accomplish? I know I have been there before. Instead of wasting time to figure out what you are doing, create a to-do list the night before of all the essential tasks you need to get done. That way, you start the day off on the right foot and already have a roadmap of your workday. It will help you stay productive while WFH and will make a significant difference in your day.

Tackle the most important things first

If you start making a daily to-do list, this should be easy! When you walk into “the office,” review your to-do list. Carefully decide which task you are going to work on first. One mistake many of us make is tackling the easiest tasks first to get them achieved. Research suggests that this gives workers a “completion high,” but also a false sense of productivity. A recent study of doctors in an East Coast emergency room found that doctors who completed more difficult tasks first were more productive in the long run. However, if you get a “high” from crossing things off of a list, break your more challenging tasks into milestones that you can cross off as you go!

working from home

Will You Be Working from Home Permanently?

Working from home has become the new norm for millions of Americans over the last couple of months, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. However, even as states begin to reopen, some companies are extending their work from home (WFH) policies throughout the summer. Others are pushing them out until 2021. For example, Google and Facebook have both extended their work from home policies until this fall. Some companies, like Twitter, are making WFH a permanent option. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, just announced that he is allowing his employees to work remotely permanently, even after the pandemic is over. So, will you be working from home permanently? Or, are you counting down the seconds until you can head back to the office?

The work from stigma is fizzling out

Many employers that were once against working from home have turned over a new leaf. With millions forced to work remotely because of stay at home orders imposed by our states’ governors, most employers did not have a choice. As a result, companies are changing their tune on letting their employees work remotely. This shift will have a significant, lasting impression on the modern-day workforce for years to come. Employers that once refused to let their team operate remotely are now hiring new employees for remote positions. In fact, job postings for remote positions were up 42% on LinkedIn in March. This trend will likely increase, even after we overcome this virus.

The benefits of working from home

Millions of Americans are getting the privilege of WFH for the very first time. And the majority of them are enjoying it. A recent study from ZDNet found that 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future. Furthermore, working from home has improved the productivity and communication of many workers. A report from USA Today found that 54% of workers are more productive than when working in the office. This result is due to the time saved from commuting, as well as fewer distractions and meetings.

With a positive impact on our workforce, don’t be surprised if more employers begin to offer remote work in the future.

Looking for ways to stay productive while working remotely?

Working remotely is definitely an adjustment for many of us. And although there are tons of good things coming to fruition because of this newfound productivity working from home, others are struggling to make this transition. If you need a little help boosting your WFH productivity, check out our blog on how to effectively work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.


2 Easy Ways to be More Organized in the Office


Good organization is one of the areas that almost all of us could improve in. Obviously, some people are messier than others. However, your organization extends past manila folders and to-do lists. We see people working to be more organized in their homes (think the Marie Kondo craze on Netflix), but what can you do to increase work-based organization, and as a result, be more productive?

Your calendar is your friend

Your calendar represents your life, or at least your life at work. It also serves a dual purpose as it reminds you of obligations, but it also alerts others in your organization to when you’re busy, where you’re located, or what you are working on. Keeping an organized, up-to-date calendar helps ease lines of communication in the office when a supervisor or boss can quickly find what you are up to, without having to call or send an email. Whether you (or your company) uses Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal or others, you have the ability to send meeting invitations, set reminders, and even color-code specific event types.

But like anything, if you utilize it in the wrong way you may find that your work-based organization suffers. With your calendar, ensure that you are scheduling relevant items. If a meeting is canceled be sure to remove it from the day. Or, if a recurring event ends duration, ensure it isn’t taking up space on your calendar just because. Like an email inbox, calendars can quickly become cluttered if not attended to or maintained. If you miss a scheduled phone call because you had to take extra time to search through a jumbled calendar, the tool that is designed to help you could actually be hurting you. Keep your calendar organized and remain as productive as possible!

Declutter your workspace

I am sure you can think of at least one person who is that person in your office. That person may even be you. Their desk is piled high with papers and documents, nothing is filed, but they swear they know where everything is. This is just how they work best. Well, science says this is wrong. More specifically, neuroscientists from Princeton University say this is wrong.

In their 2011 study titled, Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex, they found that when there is too much “stuff,” he or she had a significantly harder time being productive. To put it simply, anything not directly related to the task at hand is distracting. Your productivity drains every time something unrelated catches your attention and takes time away from the task at hand. A clear desk minimizes these distractions and as a result, drives productivity.

Keep these tips in mind and see how your new-found organization skills help you be more productive at work.


How to Stay Productive at Work During the Holidays


The holidays are just around the corner and there are only a few short weeks until 2019. Can you believe that? During this time of year, it can be challenging to balance your family and holiday obligations with your everyday work tasks. As a result, many of you are probably feeling more stressed than joyful.

The holidays can be distracting; I’m sure most of you are counting down the days until that much-needed vacation time and all of those holiday goodies. However, those end-of-the-year projects and finalizing those budgets won’t get finished by themselves. Here’s how to stay productive during the holidays and finish the year strong.

Make a list (and check it twice!)

The best way to make the most of your time is to make a to-do list. Start with the most important tasks that need to be accomplished and give them timelines. By assigning due dates on all of your tasks, it will help you stay on top of things and complete tasks on time.

This is true for both work and all of your holiday-related tasks, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or cleaning that messy house before all of your guests come over. By making lists, you will be able to ensure everything gets accomplished when needed, giving you more time to spend on other things.

Burn off some of that stress

Let’s be honest, this time of the year is often stressful. To alleviate some of that stress, do something to burn off some of that tension. Go to the gym, take a walk with your four-legged friend, or anything that helps you burn off stress.

By doing something that helps get your mind off all the holiday chaos, you’ll have a few moments to de-stress, refocus, and remain productive throughout the end of the year.

Take breaks throughout the day

It’s important to take breaks during your busy day. Even if it’s just stepping away from your desk for a few minutes, it will help you stay motivated. Try taking a five-minute break every hour or so to stretch your legs and take a step back from the line of chaps.

I know you’re busy and you may not feel like you have time for a break but taking a few minutes to regain your focus will help you stay motivated throughout the day. Go for a brief walk around the office to get some blood flowing and release some tension. Trust me, these little breaks will help.

And put that lunch break to good use. If you can, go run one of your many holiday errands at lunch. The more you can get done during the day, the more you can accomplish once you get home from the day!

Have some fun

This is important. After all, this is what the holidays are all about, right? Go and enjoy some holiday fun! This time of year can be stressful, but if you stay proactive, plan accordingly, and take a deep breath, you will be able to stay productive through the end of the year and have a little fun, too.

10 ways to stay productive at work during the holidays

10 Ways to Stay Productive During the Holidays

10 ways to stay productive at work during the holidays

It’s that time of year again! We know that you have a lot of things going on. You’re trying to get last-minute projects done at work, you have family coming to town, you’re busy baking up a storm, and worried about getting the perfect gift for that special someone. The Holidays are a stressful time of year. And that can kill your productivity, both at work and at home. Here are 10 tips to help you stay productive and make the most of your work day during the Holiday season.

1. Clean out your inbox

We know your inbox has been flooded with reminders to get those 2018 budgets submitted, tons of end-of-year promotions, and even invitations to Holiday networking events. This time of year is the perfect opportunity to clean out that inbox.

Clear out that junk mail, unsubscribe from those newsletters and mailings lists that you never read, and if you’re really feeling ambitious, create folders to organize and categorize your emails. This will help you feel refreshed and organized when you step back into the office in January.

2. Send a thank you note

Take a moment to thank someone that has helped you achieve your goals or someone that has inspired you this past year. If you have a mentor, which we all should if you want to successfully grow your career, now is a perfect time to let them know how much you appreciate their guidance and support.

3. Perfect time to revamp your resume

Even if you’re not currently on the job market, now is a great time to spruce up that resume. Add those newly acquired skills that you just achieved this year or if you received a promotion, update your resume with your new title, responsibilities, and achievements. It’s always good to have a current resume on hand. You never know when you’ll need to use it!

Push up those sleeves, grab a cup of coffee, and start plugging away. Here are some resume must-haves from JSG to help get a head start.

4. Brush up on your interviewing skills

You never know what opportunity awaits you going into the New Year. To prepare yourself for that new job opening at the office or a lucrative job opportunity that you happen to stumble upon, make sure you can answer the most common interview questions.

Need a place to start? Here are 10 typical interview questions and how to best answer them.

5. Reorganize your work space

Want a clean start to 2018? Reorganize your work space. Nobody likes coming back from their Holiday vacation to a messy work environment. Now is a perfect time to clean up your desk or organize your cubicle.

And if you’re really feeling ambitious, create a dream board for 2018. Break out the poster board, grab some markers, and have some fun making a visual representation of your goals going into the New Year. This fun activity not only helps you think about the objectives you want to accomplish next year, but it will help you stay focused on your goals throughout the year.

6. Take your LinkedIn profile to the next level

It’s time to step up your LinkedIn game! Do you have a LinkedIn profile but haven’t touched it in years? The Holiday Season is a great opportunity to sit down and update that old profile picture from seven years ago or give your bio a refresh.

Your LinkedIn profile is searchable on Google and is often one of the first impressions your co-workers, recruiters, or hiring managers have of you. Take a few minutes to do a LinkedIn audit and make sure your profile is up to date and professional. You never know who will see it.

7. Take time off

I know this one may seem a little strange, but it’s important to take time off for yourself. The Holidays are a stressful time of year. To remain productive during this busy time, it’s essential to take some time off to rejuvenate yourself.

Using some of that paid time off will give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and better prepare yourself to tackle your end-of-year projects in the office.

8. Exercise

We know you’re fighting the urge to eat more of those delicious Christmas cookies that your co-workers keep bringing into the office. However, it is important to maintain a healthy fitness routine. And this isn’t just to combat those extra goodies you’ve been munching on all month.

Maintaining (or even starting) a physical fitness routine during the Holidays will help you stay focused during this stressful time of the year. Exercising will help you stay productive at work by burning off some of that excess energy that’s been distracting you. And a few of those extra calories from the Christmas cookies.

9. Make a list and check it twice

Making lists, for both work and your personal life, will help you stay productive during all the chaos the Holidays bring. Whether your listing out all the projects that need to be wrapped up before the end of the year or writing down the presents you still need to purchase, making lists will help you stay organized and productive.

10. Make the most of your lunch break

We all have experienced our personal calendar intruding into our work life during the Holidays. Your lunch break may be the best time to get some of those extra errands done or do some last-minute Holiday shopping. Or you can even just stay at your desk during your lunch hour to take off a little early and finish some of those Holiday tasks that have been hanging over your head like a mistletoe.