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4 useful strategies to resist the siren song of multitasking

If you worked from home during the past year, you probably found that the pros and cons occupy two sides of the same coin. One of the biggest upsides of remote work is you can create a focused, distraction-free environment. A downside is you and solely you are responsible for creating that focused environment.

For many, stay-at-home orders also introduced unique professional challenges: homeschooling children, sharing workspace with family members, and even soothing needy pets. But as widespread vaccination enables us to imagine a post-coronavirus world, companies are reconsidering how and where employees will work.

A 2020 Gartner survey found that 74% of CFOs will permanently shift some staff to remote work. Relatedly, another survey from Harvard Business School suggests that at least 16% of U.S. employees will work from home at least two days per week after the pandemic. It seems the home office is here to stay; we need long-term strategies to remain focused and productive.

By now, you know the basics: turn off device notifications. Set and keep standard hours. Take regular breaks, preferably away from screens. These are table stakes for remote work. As someone who launched a company from my tiny New York apartment, there are four key tactics I revisited during the pandemic and will continue to use when we reopen our offices.

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