How we’re staying productive while working remotely

The global COVID-19 pandemic has tens of thousands of people, if not more, suddenly working remotely from home for a prolonged period. For many, this is the first time they will have to stay productive from the comfort of their own home (and in the presence of distractions), not to mention the added anxiety from current events and lack of social interactions.

While as a creative agency, we believe that the value of in-person collaboration is immeasurable and essential to our work. As an effort to slow the further spread of the COVID-19 virus currently sweeping across the globe, the KIMBO Design team is complying with the advice of public health officials and will be temporarily working from home until further notice.

Here are some of our tips for staying productive and facilitating collaboration while working from home:

Wake Up Early (or when you usually would if you were going to work)

It’s obviously hard to wake up early as per usual when you can take your commute time for extra sleep. But I find it’s best to try to get as much of a jump on the day as possible, to settle into a routine and get into your zone more quickly. Go about your normal work morning routine as per usual to create some separation between work and personal time.

Dress as if you were headed into the office

Put on pants people. Pyjamas are comfortable and ideal, but dressing for the day can help you feel like a more productive person that’s ready to get things done.

Morning SCRUM

Every morning either have a quick 15min call or chat/email with your team to discuss what you will be working on for the day. This A) Sets expectations for the team and keeps yourself motivated to get a certain amount of work done; B) Keeps everyone in the loop of where projects are at more consistently; and C) Lets others know if you are overwhelmed and need to offload some work, etc.

Video calls vs. voice calls

If at all possible, try to do video calls over voice calls. This is better for communication (physical queues) and also forces you, even more, to put on pants. The added personal connection from a video call will definitely be appreciated!

Separate your working spot

Because we no longer have the option to even work at a coffee shop or library, we have to set up our stations at home. Not super ideal as this makes creating that work-life separation very difficult and also increases the chances for distraction. Try to find somewhere to work that is as separate/far away from what you do in the house when you’re not working.

Schedule out your day

Try blocking out and writing out times dedicated to working on certain things. This makes the day a bit more digestible and manageable. It sets out some more concrete goals for the day, especially if you don’t have hard deadlines. It can be difficult to stay productive when you don’t have anything pressing to check off.

Avoid your phone/distractions

Put away your phone (unless that’s your primary source for work-related communications, of course). I have started putting my phone in another room or across the room so that I’m not so prone to checking it and getting distracted. I find it’s helpful to do this and only checking it during breaks if necessary.