We have had about a year now to get used to this whole working from home thing. Have you got it down yet? Are you enjoying it? I know we all have mixed opinions about it, to include me. There are definitely challenges and decisions to make like, when I am going to work, where am I going to work, and how to keep personal and work-space separated. If you are still trying to figure it out, below are some tips I have used and some that I am just learning to continue to make the adjustment easier.
- Maintain Regular Hours: Create a schedule and try to stick to it daily to create a work-life balance. Flexibility is a bonus though, when things do come up that have to be taken care of and you can revolve around them. Automatic time tracking apps like RescueTime can help you ensure you are sticking to a schedule.
- Create a Morning Routine: What do you do when you get up? Do you get up at the same time each day? For me, I am up at 4:15am each day during the week and make sure I am at the gym by 5am to get my workout in. That’s how I get each day started to keep that consistency, and I actually get in real clothes each day as well; no pjs!
- Set Ground Rules with Others that are in Your Space: Make sure if there are others in your living space as well, they understand what they can and cannot do while you are trying to be productive.
- Take Breaks: We all need to decompress to feel energized again. I have learned to do the 60 second rule. Take 60 seconds and just do nothing, or if your company has stricter break policies, follow them to ensure you regroup. If you are taking a longer break, you can use apps such as Timeout For Mac or Smart Break for Windows that literally will lock you out of your computer for up to 60 minutes.
- Leave Home: Get out for a bit. Run a quick errand if possible and just get some fresh air.
- Ask for What You Need: Now that you are in a new environment, ask your employer if there is something new you need to make your work-space more comfortable and productive, ask for it!
- Keep a Dedicated Office-Space: Whatever works for you to be productive and happy. For me, my boyfriend has the office upstairs and I use the dining room table downstairs. This works best personally for me as I need to be in an open setting and not feel claustrophobic.
- Use a VPN: My company worked diligently to ensure all clients were able to access this when most went remote.
- Make Sure you are Socializing: Connect with your colleagues even if it is just messaging. Our boss is great about ensuring our weekly company meeting goes on virtually so we can all join in and continue to feel like part of the team.
- Look for Training Opportunities: If this was something that was part of your regular in person schedule, don’t let it be ignored. Ask for training to continue your development. I personally have been doing a lot of LinkedIn Training as they have great courses and our boss is great about still having regular virtual training/meetings with us as well.
- Over communicate: Make sure your co-workers know your schedule, what you are working on and when tasks are completed depending on the scenario. Our team sends out an email each morning with what tasks we plan to accomplish that day; great way to stay on track.
- End your Day with A Routine: What do you do to disconnect for the day? I normally go out and take a walk and/or take my dog for a walk to mark the end of my work day. On Fridays, I completely shut my computer down, and put it away, so I know it is time for the weekend.
We are all different and we are all handling this very differently. Figure out what works best for you and stay positive!