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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!

6 Tips For Starting A New Job Remotely

6 Tips For Starting A New Job Remotely

In today’s climate – many employees are finding themselves starting a new job under unusual circumstances. Many companies are still working from home, including new hires.  It is intimidating, to say the least, as this is completely new territory for both managers and employees! If you have recently been hired and are now prepping for your first remote day, follow this guide to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Set Up Your Workspace

If you’re relatively new to working from home, you need to set the stage. It won’t suffice long-term to lounge on the couch while you work! Make sure you have a separate area designated only for work, even if it’s temporarily a card table set up in the corner of the living room. Gather all of your supplies – laptop, monitor, charging cords, wireless mouse, pen, notebook, etc. Give everything it’s own spot prior to your first day to set yourself up for success.

Clarify Expectations

You need to clarify expectations early and often. It should be one of the first things you discuss with your supervisor, and you should also check in frequently throughout your first few weeks of working. Here are just a few of the things you need to clearly understand:

  • Am I allowed to work a flexible schedule, or do I need to be online and available at certain times?
  • What are my priorities?
  • When I have downtime, what should I be working on?
  • What is the work from home dress code? If we have a team Zoom call, am I expected to dress in business casual?
  • Who are the team members I can reach out to when I need help?

Take Notes

When working from home, you are on a bit of an island. If you forget something that someone went over with you, it’s not as easy as turning to them or walking down the hallway to ask them to give you a reminder. So, every time you meet with someone or attend a training, take notes! Even if you need someone to repeat themselves, have them do so in the moment. They will definitely understand!

Build Relationships With Other Team Members

When you are starting a new job remotely, you miss out on the social setting of an office. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other members of the team and strike up a conversation. See if you can even schedule one-on-ones with people you will work with frequently. Then, you’ll have time to learn more about what they do, how long they’ve worked there, and how you can best work together.

Seek Out Opportunities To Go The Extra Mile

It can be difficult to set yourself apart when working in a remote position. You don’t see as many opportunities to jump in and offer services or ask someone “how can I help?” However, the opportunity is still there, you just have to proactively find it! Instead of jumping on Facebook during a lull in your workday, message a coworker and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them out. Frequently check in with your supervisor to see if there are projects you can assist with that may not be a part of your job description.

Establish Work-Life Boundaries

While we’ve listed this one last, it may be the most important. Did you know that a recent poll found that over half of people working remotely are experiencing burnout and overwork? That’s why it’s essential to establish boundaries first thing. Schedule in breaks throughout your day. (Yes, even if it means blocking out time on your calendar.) Get up and walk around frequently, and try to enjoy some time outside if you can!

Starting a new job remotely can be intimidating. You may have more questions than answers, but hopefully, our tips gave you a good baseline to establish the confidence you need to rock your first day! Interested in more tips on remote work? Head over to the JSG Blog!

Video: 6 tips for starting a new remote job

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

How To Ease Back Into Office Life After Working From Home

As many states start to ease back into a semi-normal routine, many workers throughout the country are returning to the office. After over two months of working from home, this may be quite a shell-shock. Not to mention, so many things have changed! As you begin to establish your new normal, be sure to take these three things into consideration.

Be Flexible

In a post-pandemic world, flexibility is going to be key. Companies and employees alike are trying to navigate totally uncharted waters. Your workplace has been working around the clock to implement safe and sanitary procedures. Please have patience and practice being flexible! It will take some time to get used to foregoing handshakes, practicing social distancing, and sanitizing everything constantly.

Take Time To Check In With Your Coworkers & Partners

It has been a whirlwind couple of months. As you step foot back in the office, take the time to check in with everyone. This is an excellent opportunity to spark meaningful conversations that go beyond the current weather. Ask people how they spent their time working from home – did they binge-watch anything great? Catch up on a fantastic book? How was balancing homeschooling with work? It won’t do any good to jump straight to business. Your coworkers and business contacts will appreciate the chance to socialize and catch up!

Give Yourself Some Grace

It can be tempting just to jump right back into your old way of working. However, don’t forget that things are very different now. It may take a little while to get back into the swing of things (and that’s okay!). Ask for support from your team or leaders if you need it. Most importantly, if you feel sick or rundown at any point, STAY HOME.

Heading back into the office is probably stirring up a large variety of emotions. Be sure to check in with yourself and take advantage of the resources at hand both at your workplace and online!

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.