How to Successfully Work From Home
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Whether coronavirus has you self-quarantining, or you're working remotely to help mitigate the spread, working from home can come with some unique challenges. As someone who has worked from home for more than 5 years, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for staying on task and not becoming a total hermit.
Never Work From Bed
Your bed should be used for two things only, and neither of them are sending emails. It’s important to draw some type of line between your work and home life, even if they’re happening in the same space. Although you don’t have to get ready and commute to the office, sticking with your morning routine of washing your face, brushing your teeth, having coffee, and putting on fresh clothes (even if they’re just new leggings) will help you maintain some normalcy as we navigate this strange new world.
If you have meetings scheduled via teleconference or video conference, allocate the first few minutes for chatting about non-work activities, ice-breaker games, or catching up on company gossip. Working from home can be pretty isolating, so it’s nice to make time to catch up with your coworkers the same you would if you were in the office.
Build in Breaks
Working from home can allow you to work efficiently without interruptions and really dive into deep work. This type of cognitive focus can be really valuable, but can also be really draining, so it’s helpful to pace yourself. Break up your day with less demanding logistical style tasks, and throw in some housework or personal things as well. Additionally, making time to actually step away from your laptop for lunch or snacks is a good way to give your eyes and brain some down time, and be more mindful about what you’re eating.
Schedule Social Time
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Now that we all have some extra time on our hands, it’s a great opportunity to call that friend you’ve been meaning time catch up with for months. FaceTime family members, or start some group texts. This type of situation is new for all of us so it’s important we lean on the people in our lives, share some laughs, and even some tears.
Set a Definitive Stop Time
Setting boundaries between home and work life is essential to staying sane. Yes, it’s possible to send emails until 11pm while you’re comfy on your couch, but it sets a bad precedent for clients and coworkers, giving them the idea that you’re always available. Just because you have more flexibility doesn’t mean you need to work until all hours of the night. Make sure you’re calling it quits at a reasonable time, closing your laptop, and focusing on you. Your family and furbabies will thank you.