How’s that “working from home” thing going? Even if you’ve got your home office all set up, you’re probably dealing with some growing pain. That’s why we rounded up some ideas for boosting WFM productivity – and adding a little fun while you’re at it.

There are a lot of benefits to working from home: flexibility to work the time you want, saving money on commuting and eating out, more free time for friends and family. But there are disadvantages as well:  interruptions and distractions, anxiety and stress, and missing the human interaction in traditional office spaces. For the time being, however, it looks like working from home (WFM) is the new normal, so here are some tips to uplevel your home office experience.

Get More personal

While you can’t meet face-to-face, you can get the next best thing by sending personal video messages. For instance, Loom is a browser extension that lets you share your screen and record video messages. You can do both at the same time with their camera bubble feature that shows you talking off to the side of your screen recording.

No matter if you need to make a presentation or just sent a quick thought or request to a colleague, Loom is great for putting a more personal touch to communications that can be read/watched at any time for the receiver. Aside from being more personal, this is also a great productivity booster, as video recordings can mean fewer scheduled conference calls or meetings that can interfere with your work. You can record or watch them when it’s most convenient.

Use Productivity Tools with a Friend

There are a lot of time management techniques, but the best tip we can share is to pick just one and use it with a friend. Just like it’s easier to exercise or stick to a diet with a friend, using productivity techniques with a friend will also increase your success rate. For instance, the Pomodoro Technique is an easy one to implement. The basics go like this: Set yourself to work on one task. Set a time for 25 minutes and work on only that task. When the timer rings, take a 5-minute break. Repeat.

You can do this with a friend by sharing your tasks (accountability), coordinating your work time, then saying “ready, set, go!” and working on your individual tasks together. This adds a fun, game-like twist to working and ensure you stay focused and accountable.

Pretend You’re in Outer Space

Instead of redecorating the wall behind you in your office or wherever you hold your Zoom meetings, how about using technology to create a background that fits the mood – or even provides a laugh? (Or if you’ve ever had kids or pets sneak into your background calls, check out this video of Zoom fails for professionals working from home.)

Zoom, as well as other video call programs, offers the ability to use virtual backgrounds that mask reality. Imagine, your face with backgrounds such as the Golden Gate Bridge, an immaculately decorated chic loft space, or even outer space! You can use backgrounds provided by the software, or there are numerous free stock images that work as well. (One note: To use this feature, your computer needs to meet certain minimum system requirements.)

If you’re looking for more ideas and information about working from home, social distancing, or how Softcom is working with our community in response to the COVID-19 crisis, check out the following articles or call us at (800) 982-7675 or 1 (888) 4-SOFTCOM