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to-do list, office space and virtual meetings

Due to the current global coronavirus pandemic, many Australians will be asked – or forced – by employers to work from home. Here’s how to do it without losing productivity, or your sanity. 

A one minute commute sounds great but working from home can sometimes mean that you don’t get through your to-do list quite as effectively as you would if you were sitting at a desk in an office. However armed with the right productivity strategies, you’ll be breezing through your work in no time.

1. Get dressed like you’re heading to work

When we look the part we feel the part so chances are you’re going to feel more up to powering through a pile of spreadsheets when you’re dressed in work attire as opposed to hanging around in your pyjamas. So before you start working, make sure you’re showered and dressed how you would if you were putting in some face time in an office.

2. Structure your day

When working in an office your days are usually structured so there’s a definite time to start, finish and stop for lunch. When you’re working at home it can be easy to keep going and forget about lunch or not shut off when you’re technically done for the day.

Introduce proper structure to your day so you’re at your desk by a certain time and leave your desk by a certain time just as you would if you were in an office.

3. Set up a designated work space

If you don’t have an area in which to work, set one up. You want to make sure you separate your work time and down time as much as possible so avoid tapping away at your laptop in bed or sitting on the couch. If you’ve got a spare room to set up an office then get organised and design a space that’s conducive for work.

Invest in a desk (maybe make it one you can stand at, too – and reap the benefits), a comfortable chair and some nice stationery to inspire productivity. If you don’t have space to do this, try and make room for a small table in a quiet corner that you can go to when you’re in working mode and walk away from when you’re not.

4. Use the Cloud

There’s nothing more annoying than realising the file you need is actually saved on your desktop elsewhere. To get around this set up a Cloud account such as Dropbox or G Drive where you can access your files from wherever you’re working. This way everything is always at your fingertips.

5. Interact with others (virtually)

By interacting with others we don’t mean having friends and family drop by! After all, we should all be social distancing, remember? When you’re working from home it can become normal to have limited face to face interaction with those you’re working with. To get around this make an effort to have a Facetime or Skype catch up with a colleague, as opposed to talking via email.

6. Have a to-do list – and stick to it

Each day (and this is recommended even if you don’t work from home) write a set to-do list of things that you need to accomplish during the day. Even if you’re not usually a ‘list person’ this is necessary to help you use your time more efficiently and avoid getting distracted by the lure of the fridge in the kitchen or personal phone calls. A set to-do list will help keep you focused on the task at hand.

Essential coronavirus reading:

How Australians should sensibly prepare for a COVID-19 pandemic, the most dangerous myths to not buy into, why surgical face masks aren’t the answer, the five-step hand washing method to memorise, the proper way to use hand sanitiser, why hand dryers are a part of the problem and the seven most effective ways to protect yourself, according to a doctor.