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Suddenly working from home? Tips to help you to be productive!

by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals Suddenly find yourself working from home?  Perhaps you are in a self-quarantine or mandated by your company that you have to work from home for a few weeks?  Don't panic.  You may actually find you will get more work done, working from home than you were in your office.   Think about it, you may have just added 2-3 hours to your day as you are not commuting to work by car, train or bus.  While this may be a temporary situation - think about making the best of it to shine in your role and let our employer see that. Take it from someone who has been working from home, minus the 2 years I had my own office, for over 14 years - you may find your productivity level rise more than you anticipated.  Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Use the time gained in not commuting to the office, towards your starting your workday earlier than you normally would.  Use the sweet spot of 6 am - 10 am to start your day working, you will find you will get a ton of work done before people are even getting out of bed.  Remember, you're not on a two-week vacation, don't use this as an opportunity to sleep in. 
  • Create a structured schedule for yourself.  Even if you have to attend meetings via the web, calls, and so forth - if you create a schedule that you're going to get XYZ done first, and the harder tasks done first - you will find you are much more productive, even if the lure of sitting on the couch and watching TV is there. (Don't do it!) 
  • Get up and get dressed as if you were going to work if that is something that helps you feel structured and proactive.  Some people like working in their PJs - but if you're doing a Zoom meeting may not be the look you want to portray to your co-workers or boss! 😉 
  • Don't have a home office?  Create a space that is quiet if possible, clean and inspiring just for where you will be working. 
  • Now home with your kids and trying to get work done?  This is easier said than done of course, but try blocking out time that they have to do their schoolwork/homework, and creating a quiet space for yourself as well.  Sometimes plugging in your earphones or pods and putting on Spotify with chill out (non-lyrical) music may be all you need to drown out noises and zone in on what you're working on. 
  • Meal prep - this may sound silly, but you may have been someone who was used to going out for lunch or the office having lunches brought in, or if you were super lucky a kitchen on-site where you could get lunch - suddenly having to figure out what you and your family is eating for lunch maybe a bit of a stressor.  If you meal prep for the week ahead, having items in stock and meals made for lunch/dinner it will make that part of your day much easier.  (But wait, can't leave your house? order via one of the delivery services, grocery stores, and have them deliver it to your porch, doorman, etc.). 
  • Take a break.  While working from home is a great way to get a lot of work done based on what your career is, we can tend to work longer hours because of fewer distractions, less chatting it up with your co-workers and so on.  So be sure to schedule breaks in there too.  (Take your dog for a walk if you're not quarantined - you can join our 250 Challenge!) 
  • If you're the leader in your company and you now need to have your employees working from home for a few weeks or longer, there are so many ways to keep a 'normal' office day.  Countless apps, ways to share work folders, (Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), ways to have those endless meetings, haha, (Zoom, Skype, Facetime, at the very least a private Facebook Group for your business).  And of course old school regular email. 
  • You want to keep morale up for your employees - don't let things slide just because your staff is now working from home.  And also check in with your employees, make sure they are not getting too lonely or having a hard time, if they are not used to working from home this can quickly set in. 
Hoping that these tips help!  Have any you want to add, comment below.  As a side note, you may find if you have dogs, that they sleep a ton more than you realized during the day! Wishing everyone great health, less panic, and more productivity while working from home.  You may find you like it so much that perhaps your dream of working in the pet industry may come true sooner than you think.  How can you apply what you do at your 'job' what you're amazing at to a new business in the pet industry?  (You know we have a gazillion niches in the industry - one may just be calling your name!)  Access our worksheet here on what business in the pet industry may work for you!  ]]>