Working from Home: 5 ways to be more productive during quarantine

by Susan Mullin

Crayons, coloring books, a half-eaten bag of Cheetos and your work laptop are sitting on the kitchen table. You are trying to get your work done while trying to balance being a parent and a homeschool teacher. You have also just realized that your partner is “that person” who clicks their pen when they are thinking. Given all of that, it’s hard to figure out how to be productive working from home.

Since our founding eight years ago, TorchLight Hire has been a fully remote company. Over all these years, we’ve tried and found many ways to be effective working from home. We’d like to share 5 tips on how to help you be more productive during quarantine.

1. Find Some Personal Space

A personal workspace is an important way to set yourself up for success. This can be a corner of your bedroom, an office, the guest room, etc. During this time, interruptions are more common than ever, so you want to be able to separate yourself. Your workspace should be a quiet place where you can focus on the task at hand and provide some distance between you, your partner, kids or roommate.

2. Have Something Positive in Your Sight

This is a scary time for everyone. Sometimes, having something simple that makes you smile can help keep you motivated. Pictures, candles and paintings are all examples of small, easy items that you can use to brighten up your space. You can also take time for a visual break by checking out things like We Rate Dogs Twitter or Instagram account. What better way to improve your mood than looking at some good puppers?

Pets are good for productivity
Every time I look over at Red’s computer, he’s buying Chuck-It balls…

Speaking of dogs and pets, they might not understand what COVID-19 is, but they do know that we’ve been home a lot more lately. Try to soak in that extra time with your pets. I know that when the day is tough, a quick play session or walk with my corgi, Reddington, can make a world of difference.

3. Try to Stick to a Schedule but Allow Breaks

Making a schedule for yourself is key. Set a list of goals to accomplish in the morning and be sure to allow a break for lunch, a FaceTime session with family or even a dance party. These breaks can help you focus more later so you can tackle your afternoon goals.

4. Focus on Both Your Mental and Physical Health

Another way to keep yourself focused is to get your body moving! Sitting still in the same spot at home all day can get uncomfortable and make you feel antsy. Try starting your day with a quick run before work or take a long walk during lunch. You can even try doing a free workout from home! Websites like offer a large variety of guided workouts that you can join right in your own home. Taking a step away from the screen and getting outside (while practicing social distancing) is good for both your mental and physical health.

5. Pick Up the Phone

It’s an adjustment to go from working in an office with colleagues to working from home. This type of environment change can leave you feeling a little isolated or lonely. While it can be easy to just send an email or a text message, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! If you have a question for a coworker or simply want to check in, try calling them. Hearing a friendly voice can help you feel less isolated and can have a positive effect on your colleague as well.

This is a challenging time for all of us—there are so many changes and a lot of uncharted territory. Remember that you are not alone in trying to figure out the ins and outs of remote work and lean on your friends, coworkers, partners and others for support.

We hope these tips have given you some good ideas for how to be more productive working from home.

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Posted in , Remote Work