In response to the new coronavirus, many companies have begun allowing employees to work-from-home to try to curb the spread of the virus. That means many people are dealing with a new challenge: working from home for the first time.
Transitioning from going to the office every to working from home can be a little bumpy in the beginning. It can be difficult to separate work from home when they’re happening in the same place. If you’ve found yourself suddenly thrust into the remote workforce and not sure how best to stay productive, we’re here to help! Here are some tips to stay productive and sane while you’re working from home.
The temptation to work in pajamas all day is strong but you’ll often end up feeling less productive and sluggish. Getting dressed everyday signals to your mind that you’re “at work” and will allow you to take video calls on the fly. You don’t have to dress as formally as you do in the office but getting up changing out of your pajamas into actual clothes will go a long way to helping you feel like you’re still at the office.
Keep a routine
We’re creatures of habits and don’t always react well when they are disrupted. While you may not need to wake up as early as when you were heading to the office, it’s smart to keep a similar schedule. Give yourself enough time to wake up and get ready in the morning before logging in for the day. Keeping the same routine is especially important if you have kids.
Designate a work area
Set aside a room or area of your home for your workspace. Some people may not have access to an extra room to use as an office but you can still create a productive workspace. Consider rearranging furniture or repurposing spaces to create a workspace. Find an area in your home with good lighting and a chair you can comfortably sit in for eight hours. Avoid working from your bed or bedroom whenever possible to help keep the work-life boundary clear.
Check out this post on our top tips for setting up a home office.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is creating a separation between your home and work life. It’s easy for the lines to blur (I can do laundry while taking this conference call!) but it’s best to create clear boundaries so you can stay focused while you’re working and relax when you’re off the clock.
Set up set office hours so everyone knows when you’ll be available. You may be at home but you’re also working so its important for everyone to respect your time. It’ll also keep you from working longer because you’re already home.
Schedule in breaks
When you work in an office, breaks are often built into your day. From chit chat with coworkers or someone stopping by your desk, its easy to use those cues to take a short break. Those cues aren’t available when you work from home! Be mindful to take breaks from your screen to rest your eyes and move around. One way is to schedule breaks into your daily calendar for ten minutes. This will serve as a reminder to get up from the desk and move around.
Build transitions into your day
When you work from home, you don’t have the same opportunity to transition into work mode. Our commutes usually serve as that signal but when your commute is last just a few seconds, that’s not enough time to get mentally prepared. Instead, create signals to mark the start or end of the workday, whether it’s changing into some comfy clothes, working out, or even taking your dog for a walk or stepping outside for a few minutes (just be mindful to keep social distancing from other people while outside).
These tips will help you stay just as productive at home as you are in the office. This is an unprecedented situation for all of us but we’ll get through this difficult situation together. Stay safe everyone!