COVID-19 has changed the way that we work, creating a nation of telecommuters virtually overnight. At BDI, much of our team is working from home as we all come together while working apart.

We know that many of you are finding yourselves working from home for the first time, so we wanted to take a moment to share a few helpful tips for getting yourself set up and organized so that you can be focused and productive.

1. Carve out a place for work

Whether you have a dedicated home office or are simply setting up shop at the kitchen table, establishing a designated work space tells your brain that you’re in the place where you do work productively.

2. Get in the right headspace

When you work in an office, the daily routine of getting ready and commuting helps your brain get ready for the day. When you’re working remotely, you can create “start the day” triggers that get your mind ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, showering and getting dressed like you're going to work.

3. Structure your work day

Remote work requires a schedule much like a typical office job, except you’re the one holding yourself accountable. A simple daily to-do list can do wonders for keeping you organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home.

4. Avoid distractions

When working from home, reducing distractions will help you maintain focus. Playing music in the background can be a good motivator, especially if it helps spark creativity, but keep the volume low, so you remain in the workflow. If you prefer background noise, sites like Coffitivity will replicate the ambiance of a coffee-house. Take a break from the news, allowing yourself to focus on the job at hand.

5. Speaking of distractions...

With school closings across the country, many of us find ourselves trying to balance a productive workday, with our responsibility as parents. Make sure you proactively communicate with your employer that you’ve got kids at home and that you can’t guarantee every conversation will be interruption-free. With any luck, you can work flexibly so you can help your kids when they need it and work when they’re occupied.

6. Stay connected

Working from home might seem like a solo experience, but it usually still involves interacting with others, whether it’s meeting with your team, getting assignments, making decisions, or giving and receiving feedback. It’s important to set up methods for collaboration and social interaction while you work remotely. There are multiple videoconferencing apps that allow you to work face-to-face while still keeping your distance.

7. Take a break

It can be easy to get so focused on your work as a telecommuter that you avoid breaks altogether. Make sure you are taking periodic breaks to relax and recharge. Rather than checking social media, however, use your breaks to step away from your desk. Go for a short walk outside, stretch, or spend time with others who might also be in the house.

If you're unaccustomed to working from home, we understand that it can take a little getting used to, and we hope that you find these tips helpful.

Need help setting up the perfect home office? We're here to help.

We wish your families and loved one's safety and good health. We are all experiencing this "new normal" together, and together we will get through it.