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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought working at home into sharp focus, with many governments globally issuing the directive for nonessential service providers. Today, thousands of employees from around the world are working remotely from home to flatten the infection curve.
This non-traditional work routine has been facilitated by technological advancements, such as video and audio conferencing and chat rooms. However, working at home comes with numerous distractions that can affect productivity. The following are five major distractions around the house and how to deal with them when working at home.
From dirty laundry in the basket to dishes in the sink, household chores are sometimes irresistible when working at home. You might stop work often to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine or vacuum a rug. Each time you do this, it takes you away from your work.
The key to avoiding the distractions of household chores is proper planning. If possible, physically plan your house by creating a dedicated office space. Partition the area and use a trendy barn door with bypass door hardware to create a dedicated working area.
If you have back problems, getting a standing desk for your workspace is a great idea. In addition to standing desks, wearing shoe insoles for hard surfaces is a terrific way to reduce back pain and maintain a healthy posture.
Additionally, plan and do the laundry and dishes in advance. Bring your family, including the children and spouse, onboard. Let them help you with the chores.
From messaging, calling, and checking emails, cell phones are an integral part of life today. Cell phones are the primary facilitators of remotely working from home. However, many people lose valuable productive time while working at home because of overusing their cell phones.
To avoid being distracted by your cell phone, always create a designated area where you can place it from the onset of your work schedule. Ignoring your phone will give you the peace of mind needed for doing productive work.
However, make all essential communications before putting your phone away. Use the breaks within your work schedule to make important calls or send messages.
Social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are major distractions for those individuals working remotely from home or even the office. The constant notifications usually trigger an urge to check and participate in the conversations on virtual communities. However, balancing working and engaging using social media for non-work activities is impossible. Social media-driven activities always triumph over work obligations.
Before settling down to work, switch off all social media platforms on your laptop or cell phone, including their notifications and feeds. Consider checking these platforms at the end of your work or during breaks.
Put away your phone immediately when you begin working and avoid the urge to check on your virtual communities.
Working at home relies heavily on email. From checking on work progress to communicating with clients and team members, an email is a useful tool when working remotely. In some cases, you can use your email browser to communicate in real-time with others through chats and video or video calls. However, spending too much time answering and sending emails and corresponding through chats can distract you from accomplishing tasks.
Create a schedule for checking and responding to emails. Check your email before settling in for the day, during breaks, and at the end of the day. Switching off the cell phone and desktop email notifications can further help you concentrate when working at home.
Other Members of the Household
The people you love can be a major source of distraction when working at home. Productivity may be hampered by kids running around the house and demanding your attention. Intrusion by a spouse or other relative is also frequent when working at home.
Always bring your family members on board. Consider having a babysitter or an adult family member to look after the kids, especially during the school holidays.
Set boundaries by posting a work schedule on your home office door. Dress appropriately for work. Older kids and adults will seek your attention less often if they know you have work commitments.
Identify and Address the Source of Distractions
Working at home may be occasioned by crises such as the coronavirus pandemic or the nature of your profession. However, steering clear of distractions can be a daunting task for many people working remotely.
Achieving productivity in such a work arrangement requires identifying the source of disturbances and addressing them proactively. The key to working at home is planning and bringing your loved ones in the loop. Create a designated working space and approach your work with the formality it deserves.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.