If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home during this time of Coronavirus (COVID 19) you could be facing a new reality of what your work day looks like. Working remotely is something that is new to so many of us right now during this time. It can be easy to allow yourself to be distracted or feel out of sorts when not sticking to your regular office schedule. Here are a few tips to help set yourself up for success when working from home.
Stick to your schedule
The biggest tip that has been helpful for me is sticking to my normal schedule. Make sure to get up at the same time as you would to come into the office. Sign in and be ready to go at the same time you would sign in at the office. Take lunch and other breaks at the same time as normal. Maintain your regular hours the best that you can.
Get up. Dress up. Show up.
This is actually a great quote that my friend shares all the time, “Get up. Dress up. Show. Up.” And we need that more than ever right now in order to feel slightly normal. It can be easy to get distracted when you’re at home in your comfy pjs. So show up and stick to your routine, including getting dressed for the office. I have made sure to shave, spritz cologne and wear comfy business casual clothes everyday so I can get into the mindset of work mode.
Have a dedicated work space
This might be the hardest for most people to achieve, but having a dedicated work space is probably the most crucial tip for working from home. If you are lucky enough to have an home office, you’re all set. However, for some, finding a dedicated work space can be challenging. Make sure that you have a “working” space and a “living space”. Perhaps you work from the dining room table and use the sofa for relaxing away from the computer.
It has been super important and helpful for me to take a few minutes to step away from my work and get some fresh air. I’ve been taking two mile walks around my neighborhood on my lunch breaks and it really helps to get outside for some fresh air. Studies actually show that taking short and regular breaks can actually increase your productivity.
Water cooler chat
Working in an office environment is pretty social, so it can feel pretty lonely when working from home. Schedule virtual meetings with your coworkers through plaforms like Zoom. Or start a group text and chat with coworkers throughout the day. Bonus points if can help brighten the boredom with some funny cat memes. Just letting your coworkers know you miss them and are thinking about them can make a huge difference in their day (and yours)!
We can feel pretty detached from what others on our teams are working on. So communicate as much as you can. Check in and let your team know when you finish or start new tasks. It is great for everyone on your team to stay in the loop about what others are working on.
When setting up your work space, think about the ergonomics of your space. Make sure your furniture is comfortable and meets the needs of your set up. Do you have everything you need in order to work comfortably in this space throughout your day? You may have to come up with some creative hacks to your work space, but do what helps you get comfortable and stay focused throughout the day.
Okay, to be honest, this is a struggle of mine even when I am in the office. However, digital distractions are a real thing when working from home. Social media can be a real time suck and it is easy to fall into a rabbit hole of your Instagram feed or cat videos on YouTube. Turn these off during your working time or set timers for short periods to check social media so you can quickly get back on track. I like working off of the Pomodoro technique and there are several free apps based on this method. You can set a timer to work for 30 minutes and then take a 5 to 10 minute break (also on a timer), when the timer goes off, get back to work.
Get your tech in order
It can be challenging if you don’t have the right technology in place in order to get your job done. Stock your office space with everything you need: computer, headphones, phone, etc. Here is a great resource if you need to scan a document to send to a coworker:
I hope these tips help you ease into a more comfortable working space. Please let me know in the comments what are some of your successful work from home tips that we can share with others.