Navigating through a post-pandemic workplace has taught many that a flexible work life is indeed possible – whether you’re working entirely remotely from home or in a hybrid model that lets you decide when to work from the office.
With more companies allowing employees to indefinitely work from home to ensure optimum productivity and save on costs, it is important to find an effective routine that works for your needs.
Whether you prefer working from the living room, the corner of your bedroom, or perhaps a study/work room – the onus is on you to create a productive work environment.
Here are strategies to help keep the productive flow going:
Stick to schedule
Start out by keeping to the same schedule, but tweak it to best suit your current work flow. Incorporate your short breaks and smoking breaks. Try to get up at the same time, and do all the things you would typically do to get ready for work. If you made a to-do list every morning, make the to-do list. If you checked in with the same person every morning, continue checking in with that person.
Keep a journal
Have a work journal - digital or print book - where you can create checklists of daily tasks, meeting notes, schedule short breaks and daily personal work trends. The daily personal work trends can be those unexpected client engagements or tasks that may warrant a sudden diary shift or deadline push. This will also help you keep abreast of new developments and changing dynamics with your tasks.
It is important to set your boundaries and stick to them. These are your personal non-negotiables, and work goals that are set in stone. If you start work at 8am, make sure you log in at 8am – not 7am.
The boundaries you set up also pertain to other people who may be sharing the same space. If you have children and school pick-ups, ensure you include that in your work to-do list.
If a work emergency comes your way, choose how to bend your own rules (boundaries) without destroying them.
Incorporate your exercise, meals and stretch breaks on your calendar or to-do list. If your daily commute used to include walking, but working from home means you now have no reason to leave the house, take a mini walk around your backyard or home. When you suddenly lose the pace of your day, everything may start to bleed together. Working in the office means we often rely on reminders from our colleagues to get up and stretch or get lunch.
Put work away
When you are done with your work day, ensure to log off completely and walk away. While this may mean just leaving one room for another, walking away from your work desk will release a bit of the day’s tension. Put your work materials and your laptop away, and put your feet up.