It’s been an interesting few weeks here at Momentum, and for the rest of the world, as we’ve adapted to the constantly changing, ever more serious public health crisis of COVID-19. While our entire team is now working from home – from Westchester, Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Chicago, New Jersey and Florida – we’ve never been more unified in our efforts to serve our clients. 

After two weeks of working from home, we’ve learned a great deal about what works, and what doesn’t. We asked our team for their tips and best practices for ensuring an effective work from home setup that maintains productivity without sacrificing social connection, and came up with ten ways we’ve been keeping our momentum going. First, here are our top five tips for staying productive:

  1. Create an Organized Workspace

Rule number one of work from home: Get out of bed! And ideally, move to a space in your home that you’ve designated as a workspace. Try to set it up similarly to your desk in the office, to help get your mind focused and in work-mode. It also might be useful to have more than one workspace that allows you to move around and have a change of scenery. This could be another area in your house, or if it’s nice out, take advantage of it and work outside!

If you’re living with roommates or family, plan to have your own quiet space where you can take calls and join meetings. They are likely in the same situation, so mutual respect is important, as is a balance between quiet time and social time. 

Creating a workspace is also important in helping you maintain a healthy boundary between work and personal life. This boundary can become blurry when you are working and living in the same place, and make it difficult to fully “check out” of work mode. At the end of the day and during breaks, make sure you leave the workspace, shut the laptop, and enjoy time to yourself to relax and recharge.

2. Put on Real Clothes

While business professional isn’t necessary, at the very least wear something different from what you wore to bed. This will help your brain make the switch from relax-mode into work-mode, which can be hard sometimes in a place where you are now doing both. 

3. Follow a Routine

When working from home, it becomes even more important to create and maintain a daily routine. It can be tempting to sleep in a little longer until you have to get online, but try to avoid this. Following a daily routine can be helpful in terms of productivity and instilling a sense of normalcy. Set an alarm for the same time every morning, go for a morning walk in place of your usual commute, and enjoy your coffee! Don’t forget to take that lunch break, either. 

It can also be helpful to create a more detailed schedule for yourself than you would in the office. Blocking out specific times for tasks, meetings, and breaks throughout the day can help create a sense of structure and help mitigate some of the distractions that come with working at home.

4. Video Call Protocol

Video calls, especially with large groups, can be a bit tricky sometimes. We recommend muting audio when not speaking on a video call, and watching to see when colleagues unmute themselves as a hint that they are about to start talking or want to add something. 

5. Take Advantage of Time Alone

Many people are more productive when working from home. Use this quiet time to get those bylines done, to perfect that pitch, or to start that blog post you’ve been meaning to write!

Some solitude might also help spark creativity. While group brainstorms can be helpful, sometimes our best ideas come to us when we’re alone. You also might have more time to reflect and think about your goals, progress, and any changes you might want to make in your approach to work.

Stay tuned next week for our next set of work from home tips, centered around maintaining connection while remote!