With the outbreak of COVID-19, many people find themselves working from home for the first time. It can be a tricky transition if you’re not used to working from home. Productivity, staying healthy, mobile and connected is essential.
To remain effective and efficient at your work, you may need to take additional measures to adjust to your new work environment. Minimizing distractions and setting yourself up for success will be the key to continuing to do great work from home.
Ditch the PJs
As much fun as working in your pajamas sounds, take a shower and put on normal clothes in the morning to trigger a normal routine for you. Not only will this psychologically get you in the right mindset for work, but you will also be more prepared for any virtual meetings and video chats that you are attending.
Setup your New Office
Remember your first day of work when you brought in a box of favorite things to keep you inspired and productive? Take some time to set up your new dedicated home-office space. This will keep your work area organized and separate from your “life” area. Even setting up a simple desk or table in a dedicated space for work, you will help you to get into work-mode when you sit there and have some work/life balance by not allowing your work to overrun your kitchen, living room, bedroom or all of the above.
When You’re on the Clock, You’re on the Clock
Be clear about your work hours and commit to them. A good rule of thumb is to follow your normal work schedule and remain accessible during those times. Remember to log your time and set limits. A work-from-home schedule may feel more flexible but based on your job requirements, that may not actually be the case. Additionally, by setting and committing to your work-hours, it will be much easier to “leave the office” when you’re done working.
Set Ground Rules with Your New “Colleagues”
If you are working remotely due to COVID-19, the chances are that there are more people hunkered down at home too. To stay productive and avoid frustration, communicate with your family about boundaries so that you minimize interruptions and distractions.
Stay Connected with Your Team
Remote work can require over-communication. You can’t just swing by someone’s office to ask a quick question so have a way to interact with your team throughout the day. It helps if the entire team is using the same system, for example, Microsoft Teams, Slack or even a Private Work Facebook Group. This keeps everyone engaged and connected without slamming email inboxes, texts or voicemail.
HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Eat Healthy Snacks and Meals
With a full range to unlimited food and snacks, it can be easy to fall off the track and overdo it on the junk food. This obliviously can lead to fatigue and become problematic if it becomes habitual. Maintaining a healthy diet with good portions will keep you fueled and energized.
Keeping hydrated is critical for health and well-being. Again, with full access to your kitchen, you may be prone to drink more sugared drinks, coffee or soda than normal. Or, you may not be taking in as much water as you usually do. Keep a water class at your desk (but not near electronics) so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
Get Up and Move
Exercise increases endorphins, which increases happiness and can contribute to your overall productivity. Moving your body will keep you active, feeling good, more creative and more mentally acute. Try to move every hour: Walk outside, walk during calls or do a 10-minute workout in the middle of the day to stay fit. You will find you are staying
Turn Off the Media Overload
Whether you have the news on constant repeat or end up scrolling through Social Media all day, you can easily find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of distraction. During this unprecedented time, it can be helpful to check the news every once in a while to see if there are any changes or updates that are important but turn the TV off while working. The same holds true for social media. You wouldn’t blast the news all day and scroll through Facebook at the office, so don’t do it at home.
Learn when to Turn it Off
Remain as committed to your off-hours as you are to your work hours. It’s important to allow yourself to have time for yourself and for your family. That means, not going right to email or work when you wake up or working at all hours of the night because your office is currently in plain view. Shut down your work computer, clean up your workspace and “go home” when it’s time.
Staying productive and healthy is good for business and good for your “time off”. Many people find that when they have accomplished their goals during the day, they are able to relax and enjoy their time “at home”. If you’ve been distracted throughout the day, you may find that nagging feeling of work piling up and following you everywhere.
Create the dedicated space, hours, boundaries and habits to increase your effectiveness and work/life balance.
This material is generic in nature. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should note date of publication and carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness, and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.