It’s a crazy time for remote work right now. If you’re one of the many people currently working from home due to COVID-19, welcome. I, too, have been working from home and boy have I learned some things! Previously, my only real WFH experiences were because of bad weather. 1 day at the most. Maybe 2. But I don’t think any of us could have predicted how the novel coronavirus would have thrust millions of companies into adopting a work from home model overnight. If you’re anything like me, you weren’t prepared to make it work.
What’s happening right now is tragic, but over the last few weeks, I’ve at least gained a little insight into how to work from home effectively. I’m now on my [insert day] and have some things to report. If you’re finding it hard to adjust to the remote lifestyle, check out my top 10 tips to creating a successful and positive work from home experience.
Working from home is when companies give you an option to perform your job duties outside of the office. Now, for most of us, and thanks for COVID-19, we weren’t really given the option. Working from home was the only option. Now, let’s get right to the tips!
Okay, you can sleep in a little bit – but don’t get carried away! Even though you’re not actually going into work, you’re still going to work. So, you’ll want to set aside some time for yourself in the morning (think of it as your virtual commute). This is your time to get zen and prepare for the day ahead of you. Drink some coffee, read the newspaper, listen to the radio, etc.
Working from home can be exciting, but it can also be super distracting. In order to keep yourself organized and on track, take some time to plan out a schedule for your day or week. What are the goals you’d like to get accomplished? Write them all down and then get rewarded with that satisfying feeling when you get to cross them off.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to schedule in a solid 30 minute lunch break, some 15 minute breaks in the morning or afternoon, and a clear quitting time!
Speaking of quitting time, you’ll need to set some boundaries for yourself both physically and mentally. Set up a work station in your house or apartment that is designated specifically for working – aka, not your bed. This will help you keep your work life and your personal life separate and therefore make it much easier to “turn things off” when you’re done working for the day.
When you work from home for an extended period of time, you tend to forget to go outside. Fresh air and a quick walk around the block can help boost your morale and clear any creative blocks.
I know you’ll probably want to wear your pajamas or a robe or maybe nothing at all while you work from home, but trust me, put some clothes on. When you’re snuggled up in something comfy or the clothes you slept in last night, it can be hard to focus and stay productive.
Working from home can be super isolating, especially if you’re not used to it. Not only is it important to communicate with your coworkers to make sure everyone understands their responsibilities and are all on the same page, but it’s also nice just to have some human contact to help keep you sane.
Yes, working from home provides ample opportunity to get things done around your house. Doing laundry, taking the trash out, vacuuming that one room. Eventually, one thing leads to another and you’ve done everything except what you were supposed to be doing. If household chores are distracting you too much, set aside some time each day to allow yourself to do one chore. Then, back to work.
Having access to your fridge, pantry, or kitchen in general may tempt you to eat all of your emergency snacks. Don’t do this! Try and follow your normal eating routine as if you were still in the office so as not to increase distractions and unnecessary eating.
If for some reason you can’t go outside, make it a point to at least get up from your chair and do a couple laps around the house, stretches, jumping jacks, anything. You wouldn’t confine yourself to your desk all day in the office, so don’t do it at home either. A few breaks to get your blood pumping will help increase productivity.
If working from home hasn’t been as easy as you thought it would be, it’s okay. It’s definitely an adjustment that takes some getting used to. If you’re in a temporary WFH position, encouraging yourself to stay positive will definitely help the time go by quicker and may increase your mood as well. Plus, now you know more about yourself and what works for you.
Ready for another few weeks of working from home? We are too. To make your WAH life easier, a telephone answering service like SAS can help. Here are a few things we can do: