Out-of-the-Box Work-from-Home Productivity Boosters

This week, many states have lightened shelter-in-place restrictions. Employees have begun slow transitions back to their corporate offices, complete with temperature checks, long lines at the elevator, and mandatory hand sanitization every two hours.

Some states have extended their work-from-home orders until Labor Day.

Regardless of where you fit into this schedule, be encouraged by these out-of-the-box tips and techniques for being the best at-home remote worker possible.

1.) Watch the time.

Keep an actual clock in your work area so you can see it and be more aware of the time. We get sucked into email and projects and sometimes don’t realize we’ve been sitting in a chair for two hours without getting up to stretch and walk around. Don’t use the clock on your cell phone; find a dedicated office clock and set it in a conspicuous location.

2.) Check the mirror.

When I work with member service representatives at credit unions and electric cooperatives, we provide clip-on mirrors for all the reps who spend time on the phone with members. Remember, we can “hear the smile” in your voice. Occasionally checking the mirror ensures a pleasant expression, which comes across as believable and compassionate at the other end of the line.

3.) Take a stand.

One of the plusses to working from home is you get to set up your workspace—the way you like it. Rather than sitting all day, can you create your own standing desk? I actually have a high table in our spare bedroom where I can move my laptop and stand up while responding to emails. It’s not fancy, but it works.

4.) Hum along.

On the bright side, you won’t bother your coworkers now by cranking up your favorite playlist for a productivity boost. I’ve curated two for work these days, and I’ve actually titled them “Mellow Covid-19 Playlist” and “Peppy Covid-19 Playlist.” Another recommendation is to make each list around 40 minutes in duration as a reminder to take a 20-minute break once it ends.

5.) Tidy up.

You know I can’t end this post without challenging you not only to organize your desk every evening so you can start with a clean slate the next morning but also to clean up your email inbox as well. Get rid of the thousands of emails just hanging out in your inbox with the three Ds: Do it, Delete it, or Delegate it. You can delegate emails you wish to save by creating files and folders within your email program.


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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