In just a few short weeks, Coronavirus has drastically altered the working landscape for millions of Filipinos. Perhaps the biggest of these changes (and the one silver lining for some) is the move to working from home. 

Just a few short months ago, working from home would have been considered a luxury perk of a modern employer. But with the Covid-19 quarantine locking people in their homes, it’s time to turn this “luxury” into productivity.

Here are our top 5 tips to boost your productivity while working from home.

Keep your routine

Working from home certainly can be a lot easier than working from an office – no long frustrating commutes, easy access to your own personal bathroom, and perhaps best of all, no dress code!

However, just because you can work in your pyjamas doesn’t mean you should. Maintaining your daily routine, including getting dressed for work, helps to maintain separation between self time and work time.

If you have been going into the office for years and years, then you have already developed that mental association of “work time”, and maintaining your routine can strengthen that association even while working at home.

Set up your work space

So now that you are fully ready to go to work, it’s time to go to work! But if that’s just sitting up a little bit in bed to use your laptop, you’ll probably find yourself struggling to even stay awake.

In a similar vein as above, your mental association with your work space in the office is already strong, so setting up a space in your home keeps that association in place and boosts your productivity.

Set up your work space in a way that makes it purely for work if you can. Choose a spot in your home that you don’t normally use for everyday tasks (avoid the kitchen table at all costs!), and situated for maximum wifi strength.

Plan out your day

When working from home, you are responsible for managing your own time. Without coworkers and bosses lurking over your shoulder, it can be easy to put off difficult tasks and lose focus of major milestones.

Having a structure to your day helps you keep on schedule and stay focused throughout the day. Spend a few minutes in the morning to plan out your day, and find ways to break up your day into blocks of productive work.

Coffee break catch ups

The biggest barrier to working from home is the isolation – it’s much harder to check in with a coworker when you can’t physically walk over to them! 

However, this can actually be a boon to productivity, as interruptions from coworkers are one of the biggest drains on focus for many workers.

Finding a balance between these two is vital to successfully managing a team all working from different locations, and coffee break catch ups work great at providing regular, lowkey moments throughout the day for everyone to touch base.

Use a shared online calendar to create your daily plan, add in a couple coffee breaks throughout the day, and invite your coworkers to a virtual brain boost!

Coordinate with your community

Dressed for success, work space ready to go, and the perfect plan scheduled in – you’re ready for one very productive day at work! You try to open up your browser and get logged on, only to find your internet connection is painfully slow – what’s going on?

Turns out when everyone is working from home puts a lot of strain on your network. Especially in high-population areas like Manila, bandwidth can run out faster than toilet paper!

Luckily, there is an easy fix to this problem: coordinate internet use with your community! Got a large file that needs to be uploaded, or a vital video conference to attend? Schedule in a time with the people who live near you to free up the network.

By working together, we can make sure that everyone has access to high quality internet when and where they need it.