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Four Real Tips To Help Combat Virtual Office Distractions

As more and more folks work remotely, technology has done its part to make the transition a smooth one. Many workers now embrace the benefits that come with a flexible workplace. For instance, utilizing a virtual office means that a person has the freedom to work wherever they have an internet connection. For some, this could mean setting up shop at the kitchen table. For others, it could mean working from a lake cabin or even the seat of a tractor. 

Whatever the case may be, this newfound freedom also comes with a variety of newfound distractions. Unlike the daily routines, practices and structure that take place at the traditional workplace, working from a virtual office provides us with countless opportunities to pay attention to something other than our computer – and that can hinder productivity. Read on to learn four helpful tips that can reduce work-from-home distractions for good. 

(1) Set Boundaries Between Work And Home

Working in the same place that you live can be a tricky concept if there are no boundaries between one part of your life and the next. For instance, while working at the kitchen table, you might feel the urge to take a quick break from the workday to tackle a household chore like emptying the dishwasher. 

Tempting as it may be, try to resist the urge. Switching gears between work and home puts a strain on your focus and productivity, making it extremely hard for the mind to switch back to work mode. Instead, save daily chores for a designated break time or a time when you’re off the clock. In addition, make sure that the majority of your breaks revolve around self-wellness, rather than chores. Grab something to eat, do some stretching or go for a walk to get your blood pumping. 

(2) Avoid Too Much Multitasking

When working from home, it is tempting to try to do too many things at one time. After all, we can keep up with social media and do our grocery shopping online at the same time, right? While tasks like these take just a few seconds at a time, doing too many things at once tends to impact all of the assignments adversely. In the end, rather than doing a great job at one task, we do an OK job at a bunch of tasks instead. Neither your job nor the other things you are doing simultaneously are executed at full capacity.

Again, it’s more productive to compartmentalize your tasks during the day. Save your online banking for a short break, for example. “If your bank has a good system for mobile banking, you can take care of pretty much all your transactions with just a few taps on your phone,” says Mark Enerson, Information Officer at First United Bank, a group of community banks located in northeastern North Dakota. “Our mobile banking system, for example, is so easy that you’re able to get a lot done on a short break from work.”

(3) Develop A Routine/Work Schedule

Without the traditional routine of getting ready in the morning and driving to work, some people are bound to feel a bit lost. Consequently, it’s important for anyone utilizing a virtual office to develop their own daily work-from-home habits in order to avoid distractions. 

To start, break your workday down into defined blocks of time. Start with a healthy morning routine, like a cup of coffee and a stretching session, before the workday begins. Once your brain is activated, prioritize your day according to work-related tasks, breaks and social interaction with coworkers (track your schedule with a notebook or spreadsheet if it helps). By following a routine, not only will you become more efficient, but you’ll also be less likely to get off track.

“For many of our customers, stopping by the bank is part of their regular routine,” says Enerson. “However, we’re seeing more and more customers shifting some of those tasks to their mobile device and mobile routine. They check balances, make transfers, even use services like CardValet, to manage their cards. It’s just something they do during lunch or some other time that they can spare a minute or two with their phone.” 

(4) Take Control Of Your Mobile Device

A smartphone can be a stress reliever for many workers. But, what begins as a quick glance at social media can quickly turn into a half-hour detour. 

If you’re prone to being distracted by your mobile device, helpful features like “do-not-disturb” and even “airplane mode” can help to keep you on track until break time. If your mobile device still draws your attention, try putting it on silent mode, and even placing it in a different area of the room that is out of reach.

Whether your switch to a virtual office is temporary or permanent, remember to stay on task and enjoy the freedoms it allows. For more information on online banking and other services to make handling finances from your virtual office simple and convenient, contact your local First United Bank. 

First United Bank has locations in Park River, Grafton, Adams, Michigan, Hoople, Crystal, Aneta, Cooperstown, Sharon and Petersburg, North Dakota.