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In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are now working from home – some for the first time. We explore 10 tips to ensure productivity and work-life balance.

man in headphones writing

Many people, including the team at SGS, have begun homeworking and are now confronted with a drastic change in routine. One that can have positive impacts, such as enabling you to focus more on your tasks, reducing distractions and travel time, and the opportunity to make healthier meals. However, there can also be negative effects, such as social isolation.

Here are 10 tips to maintain – and even increase – your productivity, ensuring a normal balance between professional, personal and family life:

  1. Maintain your normal routine – as much as you possibly can. Get up and get ready to begin work at your usual time, just as you would when traveling to the office.
  2. If possible, dedicate a specific table or room to do your job. Avoid having a television or distractions in your workspace to remove the temptation of unnecessary breaks.
  3. Create a daily to-do list and a longer-term list of goals for the next few weeks. This will help you get organized and avoid the distraction of household chores.
  4. Keep communicating with your colleagues and manager via phone, video calls, messages and emails. This will maintain your motivation and keep you from feeling isolated.
  5. Tell your family or those you live with about your schedule for the weeks you are going to work remotely. This will reduce interruptions and manage expectations.
  6. Maintain regular physical exercise. This is a tip that is not directly related to your work, but that will help reduce back pain, increase your concentration and keep your mind healthy.
  7. Create a time for lunch breaks. Take small breaks in the middle of the morning and afternoon, to eat and rest. This helps increase your productivity when you are working.
  8. At lunchtime, take a break from your computer. This will help you return in the afternoon with renewed motivation and energy.
  9. If you are going to have meetings via video or audio conference, whether with customers, suppliers or colleagues, familiarise yourself with the software in advance. Check that you are sitting in the best position – try to keep your backdrop as minimal as possible. Ensure that your camera, speakers and microphone are correctly connected to maintain professionalism. Also, learn how to mute yourself, in the event of an unforeseen interruption.
  10. When you have finish working, turn off your computer and disconnect your mind from work. Replenish your energy and enjoy time with the people closest to you, either in person (if they live with you) or by phone, to maintain the social relationships that are so important to our well-being.

Hopefully, these tips will help you stay productive, and help you to reconcile your personal, professional and family life, until our normal routines can begin once again.