Working from home is now the new normal for most executives as the coronavirus outbreak spread to over 180 countries. Most companies have made it mandatory for most employees to work remotely indefinitely. While some are used to working out of their homes, many executives are still facing challenges in remaining productive in this environment. Here are some tips that will help you maintain productivity.

Maintain routine & structure

One of the key benefits of working in an office environment is the structure and routine it offers. You come into work at a specific time, go to your own workspace and follow a set routine that ensures productivity.

When faced with the prospect of WFH over a longer and indefinite stretch of time, most executives will miss their usual routine and it can have repercussions. For example, since your commute time is now zero, you may be tempted to start work earlier, forgo lunch breaks and work longer hours. This can be counterproductive as you may feel exhausted and burn out rapidly.

Experts advise that while working from home executives should maintain their regular routines and structure to maintain productivity through the working day. Also be clear about your working hours and try to stick to them as far as possible as it can be tempting to be on the clock all day and all night while working remotely.

Designate a work location

The best part of working from home is that you can discuss business and finish projects while chilling out on the couch, and relaxing in pyjamas, right? Wrong, say experts in corporate productivity. They suggest having a dedicated workspace in your home that will put you in the right frame of mind. You can leave the workspace for a quick break, to stretch your legs, have lunch, so that when you return, you are primed to start work and not laze around.

Take breaks

It is very important to take short breaks and step away from the workspace to recharge and refresh, so remember to factor it in your day’s schedule. A change of scenery, even if it means just walking to the window or stepping out for a brisk walk is required to clear the head and get ready for the next work challenge.

Demarcate work and non-work activities

It is tempting to step away from the laptop to start the laundry while waiting for a video conferencing call. Before you know it, what was meant to be a ten-minute break will extend to twenty and you will have missed the call. To avoid such pitfalls, distinguish between work and

personal activities and factor them into your schedule. For example, parents may need to spend a few hours per day homeschooling their children while doing a full-time job. They should try to factor this while deciding work hours and avoid multitasking.

Communicate with friends & colleagues

One aspect that many executives miss about the office is the socialization with colleagues, the watercooler chats and so on. And with social distancing enforced globally, isolation can quickly set in, and affect both morale and productivity. You could check in with co-workers on a slack channel or weekly video conferencing call, and managers could take extra steps to ensure team spirit stays high even with a remote team.

The new normal may seem disorienting for the workforce globally, but by maintaining schedules and productivity, teams can bounce back faster from disruption and smoothen business continuity.