With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we’re living in a whole new world. While some folks are still coming into the workplace, many of us are now working from home.
Working remotely is an adjustment. It might sound great, but it’s not all Netflix and PJs. Here are a few ways to stay on track.
- Maintain Your Routine
If you start a normal workday with taking a shower, putting on fresh clothes, and brewing a pot of coffee, keep doing those things while you’re working remotely. Although it’s totally fine to work in your pajamas a few times, maintaining your routine will keep you focused and on-task. It’s easier to be in “work mode” when you treat an at-home workday just like any other.
- Keep Work to Work Hours
Since you’re working from home, it can be tempting to watch a bit of Netflix and promise yourself you’ll just work a few minutes past 5:00 to get that project finished. However, that little bit of procrastination can turn into hours, and then you find yourself working into the wee hours of the night.
- Set Boundaries: With Your Family and Your Boss
When you’re working from home, your family needs to know you’re working. Taking out the trash or fixing your kid’s video game system might sound innocent, but that one task can lead into several and can result in missed deadlines. Let your family know that you won’t be available to chat or do a ton of chores during work hours, but you’ll be happy to help out once the workday is finished.
Your boss also needs to respect your boundaries. Now that working from home is easily accessible, they might ask you to upload a file or check your email after work hours. This isn’t doable when you need to pay attention to your family outside work hours (since basically everyone is on lockdown right now). Have a conversation with your boss and discuss how you will only be reachable during a specific time period.
- Create a Home Office
This doesn’t need to be a fancy office room. You just need a clean, open space where you can work uninterrupted, like a kitchen table, or even just that old desk from IKEA you never put together until now. The important thing is that this space is just for work. It isn’t your bed or a comfy sofa right in front of the TV. Having a dedicated place to work makes it easier to walk away and take breaks, and ensures you have a place to “come home” from work.
Everything seems absolutely crazy right now, but keeping a consistent, at-home work routine can keep us safe and productive in the face of adversity.
Do you have any tips for working from home? Let us know in the comments section below!