With the outbreak of COVID-19, companies are seeking to protect their employees by asking them to work from home. While working from home has many benefits, such as skipping the commute, enjoying homemade meals, and staying closer to your kids and pets, all of these comforts can affect your work productivity. Here are some tips on how to keep your focus and maintain your work output during this time.
1. Create a Home Office
Organization is the key to a clear and focused mind. Ideally, a home office has a desk and proper chair, but if this option is not available, the kitchen table will do the trick! Make sure you set up all of your resources in an orderly manner, keeping everything within reach. Although it's tempting, avoid working from your bed or your sofa.
2. Organize Your Work Schedule
Start each day with a clear vision of how you'll use your time. Yes, at home you have more flexibility, but you have to make sure you work your 8 hours per day to maintain your standard task load. Use tools such as Google Calendar or TrackingTime to track your hours. Start each day by creating a to do list and then migrating each task into a specific time block on your calendar.
3. Block Times for Yourself and Your Family
It's hard for your family to see you around and not interact with you. Use your time flexibility to block time to enjoy life with them. Include in your calendar items such as walking the dog, having lunch as a family, or helping your children with homework. You have to work 8 hours, but you can distribute those hours how you want, and that's the beauty of working from home! Don't forget to schedule time to exercise, as it's good for personal care and rejuvenates your work energy.
4. Choose Your Playlist
Get in the mood! Between children, pets, washing machines and more, the home environment can be noisy. So pick a playlist that inspires you, plug your headphones in, and get the work done. If you don't already have a favorite playlist, you can find relaxing tracks for work on YouTube and Spotify. 
5. Ensure Your Privacy
Make sure you have some privacy. If you don't have a designated office space, plugging your headphones in is a great way to maintain focus and visually signal the need for privacy to those around you. For sensitive meetings and video calls, it's a good idea to let your family or roommates know beforehand that you can't be interrupted. If you're using video conferencing, be aware of your surroundings and make sure that everything in your camera screen is work appropriate.
6. Dress for the Occasion
"Dress for the occasion? I'm at home!!" You don't need to dress in a suit and tie, but be aware that the way you dress influences your mindset. Keep your morning ritual as if you are going to work: take a shower, shave or put on light makeup, etc. The important thing is recognizing that your mind and body work together. If you are still in your pajamas at noon, you will have a hard time getting any serious work done.
7. Be Available
Even though you're at home, remember that you're still working with your team. Make sure you communicate accordingly, and remember that your manager can't see what you're working on; if you don't respond to his/her communications, it may send the wrong message. Communicate regularly, showing your progress on projects and staying available on multiple channels.
With all of these tips, working from home can be very productive, as you can create your own space to focus and set up your ideal schedule for work, family time, and personal health. Take advantage of this experience to learn new skills to boost your productivity and make the most of your time with your loved ones!


Manoela Vieira

Manoela Vieira is the new Marketing Director at Avenue Code. With more than 10 years of experience at Dell, Sonicwall, Kemp Technologies and more, she is excited to share her creativity and expertise in lead generation and brand awareness to help Avenue Code conquer new markets and continue the path to success!