Virtual Working – How To Stay Productive

You’re working from home…

What time do you start?

When do you take your first break?

Do you logon before you shower?

What time do you call it a day?

Now if you were at the office all of these questions would be easy to answer. But you’re not at the office, you’re working from home…

But why should they change?

For some people they can get more done in a work from home day than they can spent 3 days in the office.

For the others virtual working is a real slog.

Here are a couple of solid tips to remain productive whilst working from home.

It all starts with your morning routine…

Get this right and your whole day starts on the front foot. Get it wrong and you’ll struggle.

When you go to the office each day you have a routine.

Here’s mine (literally like clockwork!)

• 6.00am Wake up
• 6:10am Pre-Gym crumpets
• 6.30am Post LinkedIn article
• 6:50am Leave for the gym
• 7:00am Arrive & gym
• 8:30am Leave gym
• 8:40am Put boiled eggs on
• 8.45am Shower and change
• 9.05am Eat eggs
• 9.15am Leave for office
• 9.30am Arrive at office

…working from home should be no different.

When I’m working remotely then I adjust it and try to make it as close to my normal schedule as I can.

It sets me up for success. Everything up to 9.15am is basically the same.

Yours could be very different. You might want to take the kids to school or read the news.

Create a working from home schedule that works for you. The most important thing is to have one.

Where’s your home office?…

It doesn’t have to be all kitted out like a posh serviced office in the City!

But you need a place of work.

Where is it?

The kitchen? (when everyone has left for the day) The spare room? The dining room?

Make sure there are no distractions and avoid high traffic areas!

You go there to work and make sure everyone else in the household knows that.

Don’t forget to take breaks…

I’m guilty of this!

Apart from going downstairs to get a tea or coffee, I hardly take any breaks. But I have about 8 cups a day so it does break the day up.

You should and I should take more breaks. I am getting better but I find it difficult.

When I do, I am more focused so I at least schedule a lunch break where I will have something to eat and walk around the block for some fresh air.

I’ve started to schedule a break into my next tip…

Don’t forget your to do list!…

Just because you’re at home does not mean that your schedule goes out the window!

Manage your day more effectively by using these calendar management tips.

Plan your day. Write goals for the day and week ahead.

You can be flexible too. I allow all of my team to work from home and I have no problem whatsoever if they go to pick the kids up at 3.30pm if they wish to do so.

Communication is key here. A quick chat message of “Just popping out to pick up Holly, back in 20” is all it takes.

Quality of life is better. Work/life balance is better and you return ready to hit the work again.

Don’t forget to learn new skills as well. You will not be disturbed! It’s the perfect opportunity to put DND on your chat profile and take some virtual training or elearning content.

As a leader I am more bothered about outcomes rather than time.

Get social…

Working from home can make you feel a little isolated. Remember to check in with others.

Have a “virtual coffee” with a colleague just for the sake of a catch up and a natter.

With video conferencing we’re only a “start video” away from an interaction.

Don’t forget to reach out to your team members, peers and your line manager.

Communication is key.


Make working from home, work for you. The virtual technology is there to support us all so there are no excuses. Our eLearning platform, for example, is helping to support thousands of homeworkers all around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated that we can still do business and get loads done when working from home.

Sean photo

Sean is the CEO of Skillshub. He’s a published author and has been featured on CNN, BBC and ITV as a leading authority in the learning and development industry. Sean is responsible for the vision and strategy at Skillshub, helping to ensure innovation within the company.

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Updated on: 1 April, 2020

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