Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people have been forced to work from home. While its workings are familiar to some people, it is a new experience for others. Below are a few tips that can make the transition a bit smoother:
1. Get started early.
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more jarring.
Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list (including prayers and the Word) as soon as you wake up. Simply getting a project started first thing in the morning can be the key to making progress on it gradually throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll prolong breakfast and let the morning sluggishness wear away your motivation.
2. Pretend like you are going into the office.
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when you’re working from home.
Do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or go get) coffee, and et out of your pyjamas.
3. Structure your day like you would in the office.
When working from home, you’re your own personal manager. Without things like an in-person meeting schedule to break up your day, you can be quick to lose focus or burn out.
To stay on schedule, segment what you’ll do and when over the course of the day. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks.
4. Choose a dedicated workspace.
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
5. Use technology to stay connected.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel cut off the larger operation happening in the office. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with co-workers and remind you how your work is contributing to the big picture.
6. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you.
Of course, you might be working from home but you are still “at work”. Make sure any roommates, siblings, parents, spouses, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home.
7. Take clear breaks.
It can be so easy to get distracted as a telecommuter that you avoid breaks altogether. Don’t let the guilt of working in the building you sleep in to prevent you from taking “five” to relax. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, however, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Go for a walk outside or spend time with others who might also be in the house.
8. Interact with other humans.
Remember: You’re working from home, not the moon. Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your co-workers. In fact, it’s a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your workday is solitary.
9. Pick a definitive finishing time each day.
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance, but be careful with that assumption. Working from home can also feel like being at a casino — you can get so caught up in your activity, in a relaxing environment, that you lose complete track of time.
In lieu of co-workers, whose packing up and leaving the office reminds you to do the same, set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal workday is coming to an end. You don’t have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the workday is technically over can help you start the process of saving your work and calling it quits for the evening.