As the coronavirus spreads, working and learning from home has become the new reality for American workers and students. Working remotely can be difficult and many people are still figuring out how to be productive and stay happy. It’s easy to fall into many of the traps of remote work, especially if you’re new to it.

We spoke with Auden residents and collected a list of the practices they found most useful to boost productivity and improve work-life balance while working from home.

  1. Morning Routine

    Establish a morning routine that enables you to feel productive and ready to take on the day. This may include eating a healthy breakfast, going for a run, taking a hot shower or drinking a cup of coffee. Everybody has a unique morning routine and it’s important that you create a schedule that you enjoy and adhere to.
  1. Dedicated Workspace

    A dedicated workspace is a great way to keep your work and home life separate. Find a quiet space where you feel you can be productive. The workspace should not be your bed. Comforts of your home can be your enemy and drain your productivity. Getting away from home can help minimize the stress of confinement. A coffee shop can be an extra workspace option if this is a possibility.
  1. Schedule

    It’s easy to get distracted at home and lose track of time. Setting and following a schedule for yourself is essential when working remotely. Consider starting and ending work at the same time each day. Using an online calendar to map out your meetings or tasks for the day can help you stay focused.

  1. Communication

    As a remote worker or learner, you may lack the in-person contact with others that you are used to. Don’t block yourself off from others. Be available on Skype, Email, Chat or whichever platform your team may use to communicate. Collaboration and virtual communication through chat or video calls may be essential not only for group projects but also for staying connected to others.

  1. Breaks

    Allow yourself to take breaks throughout the day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Use your break time for something that will energize you – a quick walk or a healthy snack. A few minutes of down time will break the monotony of a long day and let your mind recharge before you pick your work back up.