Working from home is the new reality for so many right now. We use Zoom, we chat on Slack, and we manage our projects — all from the comfort of a home office. Most of us already know the basics as far as how to stay productivity — keep regular hours, communicate with family members about your projects, and find a distraction for the kids. These tips from consultants and business owners are different. They are a bit more surprising and unique.
1. “Use the 20-20-20 rule to help decrease eye strain: when using a digital device, taking a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away.” – Dr. Karen Hecht, Scientific Affairs Manager, AstaReal
2. “Create a morning routine that eases you into work. Don’t wake up and open your laptop in bed.” – Rhiannon Cook, Head of Growth, MistoBox
3. “I reserve 30 minutes for daily “office hours.” It’s an opportunity for anyone at the company to hop on a Google Hangout with me and chat about anything: the virtual equivalent of stopping by my office, and it’s one of my favorite times of the day.” – Joe Lallouz, CEO, Bison Trails
4. “Create a reward system: Your home environment has many more opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment than your office, so use them to your advantage by pursuing them after you’ve done something worthy of reward.” – Bri Rios, Co-founder, The Chatter Club.
5. “Make To Do Lists: Whether you make the list with a paper and pen (which is what I prefer) or digitally it’s always productive to create to-do lists and even wish lists to maintain momentum. During this time of uncertainty I have found it helpful to create a work to-do list for projects and tasks for the day, but also a “wish list” for projects that I have had on my mind, but never have time to do like – create a vegetable garden, start virtual painting class etc.” – Rachel Johnson, CEO and Founder, RLJPR
6. “Social Street [is my favorite work from home app] where people who are interested in a specific topic can gather for a zoom call to talk about that topic. There have been sessions on mountain biking, technology nerdery, real estate investing, etc.” – Anne Perry, Participant, Tulsa Remote
7. “If this is the first time your team and yourself are working remotely, then the best way to adapt this principle to your workflow is to evaluate how much time projects would take in your usual environment and set deadlines based on those estimates. This way, you will get a sense of whether your productivity has decreased — or, most likely, improved — as a result of working from home. If you consistently find yourself missing deadlines — or hitting them with too much buffer — then you can adjust the way you set those estimates to get closer to reality.” – Thibaud Clement, CEO and Co-founder, Loomly
8. “Position yourself at arm’s distance away from the screen for proper viewing distance when at a computer” – Dr. Karen Hecht, Scientific Affairs Manager, AstaReal
9. “To help create distance from my professional and personal life, I try to leave the house after I have finished working for the day. In the past, I would go to the gym at about 5pm to clear my mind. Now I go for a walk. When I come back, I feel ready to settle into an evening with my family, leaving thoughts about work behind.” – Elizabeth Segran, Senior Staff Writer, Fast Company
10. “Have backup power. Nothing is worse than sheltered in place, working from home without electricity to power devices, coupled with a pandemic and utility peak rates.” – Brett Joerger, CEO, Westhaven Inc.
11. “Don’t ignore your life outside of COVID-19: Not everything has to be about the virus. In fact, as a manager, you can help bring some calm and equanimity to your team by helping them focus on things that truly matter—like their career goals, new skill sets they would like to acquire and how they might acquire them in this new environment.” – Alex Kvamme, CEO and Co-founder, Pathlight
12. “Eat meals as you would if you’re working from the office. Start with a coffee and breakfast (an egg and a piece of fruit, usually a grapefruit work for me). Then have lunch at the regular time and maybe an afternoon snack. Do that even if you’re not hungry. If you don’t eat regularly, being at home means you can head straight for the pantry and eat all the kid snacks!” – Adina Jacobs, Co-founder and Head of Product Development, STM Brands
13. “Increase text size on devices to better define content on the screen” – Dr. Karen Hecht, Scientific Affairs Manager, AstaReal