Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us are pivoting towards an indefinite work from home lifestyle. I thought that it would be a great time to share some work from home tips that will help you maintain your productivity. Many people are working from home full-time for the first time. Whether you are a business owner or corporate employee, this will most definitely be a time of adjustment. Now is the time to put your best foot forward and grow as an entrepreneur and/or employee. I urge you to not take this time for granted, but to use this time to lay the groundwork that will push your professional journey forward!
I have connected with a very good friend of mine, Alyssa Welch, to help me to create a list of tips. She worked primarily from home for many years. Alyssa is currently a Human Resources Business Partner with a leading global communications company. She has worked in varying levels and industries of Human Resources for over 10 years.
5 Work from Home Tips
1. Create a space to work. Even if you are at the kitchen table, create a space in your place where you can vibe. If you are on video calls, consider a wall or window behind you. If you are proud of your decor, show it off. Distractions are inevitable; however, let the people you work with know what’s going on in the world around you. If it’s a customer, consider giving them a heads up and apologize in advance if you anticipate a distraction. And don’t hesitate to press “mute”.
2. Get up and get dressed. It can seem tempting to work from bed and in your pajamas but it does impact your productivity. It will create more anxiety because you know you aren’t putting your best foot forward. I also believe when you look good, you feel good. Oddly enough, I feel more productive at home when I have shoes on. It’s something about staying ready. By getting up and getting dressed you are approaching your day with intention all while being relaxed.
3. Set your schedule. While some companies and managers have not risen to the occasion of just how productive you can be working remotely, it’s easy to over accommodate by being “on” all day. What does this mean? Starting your day super early without a set time to end. I can remember feeling like I needed to take early morning calls at 6 am because I didn’t want anyone to think I was a slacker. Yet, my day wouldn’t end until well after 6 pm. A full 12 hour day. I wouldn’t do that if I was going into the office every day. Set expectations with your manager about your schedule and try to stick to it. Consider filling your normal commute time with something to decompress in the evening. Failing to do so will lead to major burn out.
4. Incorporate breaks in your day. In addition to setting your schedule, take breaks throughout the day. When eating lunch back away from your computer. Take a 15-minute break to call a friend. Go outside for fresh air. Listen to a podcast or even read an article. While I don’t encourage a spiral of social media, it’s okay to take a break and check-in with the world.
5. Build a virtual community. In addition to chat and email consider how you will connect with people face to face. If you know multiple people that work remotely consider virtual coffee breaks, happy hours and venting sessions, etc. I do this using Webex, FaceTime or Slack. At my last company, we would encourage wellness and every team member would go for walks while we caught up. This created a community and got us our seats. Rather it’s coworkers or friends a virtual community can help keep the balance when working from home.
Don’t feel bad or get down on yourself if you are having a hard time adjusting and remaining productive during this time. You are not alone if today doesn’t turn out to be productive as you would like, just try again tomorrow. New habits are formed by repetition and consistency! If you continue to try, you will conquer this and develop new skills in the process!
Feel free to comment on this article or email us with questions or additional tips for working from home.