COVID-19: Overcoming the Challenges of Working from Home


The COVID-19 outbreak has set a new reality for the majority of us. Workplaces have been shut down and many employers have implemented a work from home policy for their employees.

With so much going on around us, adjusting to working from home can be difficult. How do you get work done with all of the distractions that come with being at home? Here are our top 5 tips and tricks for staying focused and on track:

  1. Plan out your day

It can be easy to get distracted and lose track of what your responsibilities are for the workday. Things that were once simple to do in the office, such as staying on top of priorities, tasks and deadlines become difficult and you can find yourself disorganized and scrambling to get work done.

To avoid this, dedicate 30 minutes of your morning to looking over all the work you need to get done for the day and set a time frame for how long you’re going to work on each task. For example, if you desperately need to respond to emails, schedule time in your calendar from 10:30AM – 11:30AM and make sure you dedicate that time to responding to emails.

  1. Get started early

One of the benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to fuss around in the morning getting ready and dealing with the morning commute. Instead, you can use this time to your benefit and get an early start on your workday.

Try using this time to get in touch with colleagues, get a head start on your daily tasks, or finally answer all of those past due emails in your inbox.

  1. Connect with your colleagues and use video chat

Just because you’re no longer in the same office, doesn’t mean you don’t get your daily chats with your colleagues. Catching up and sharing updates in both your work and personal life can be a great way to stay on track with tasks and talk to someone other than the people you’re self-isolating with.

Luckily, there are many ways to meet with your colleagues without having to make physical face-to-face contact. Online collaboration programs such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or GoToMeeting are all great ways to easily connect with your colleagues.

  1. Take breaks

While planning out your day, make sure you include spots for breaks! Just because you’re home doesn’t mean that you’re not entitled to breaks.

Step away from the home office for a moment, get some air, grab a snack or even tackle some of your daily chores. Giving yourself a well-deserved break will help you work more efficiently and will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

  1. Decide on a designated work space

When you’re working from home, your work space and your living space tend to intertwine. This can cause you to feel distracted, become lazy and ultimately fall behind on tasks. Try to designate a specific spot in your home for getting work done. It can be the kitchen counter, home office, or spare bedroom – when you’re in this spot, you’ll know that it’s time to put your head down and focus on getting things done.

Want more tips on how to overcome the challenges of working from home? Join our ECO Canada experts Sarah and Helen as they explore more ways to help you navigate the switch and ensure that your work from home experience is effective and enjoyable.

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