As we adjust to living during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have begun to work from home. Along with the many changes to which we've had to become accustomed, working from home can be new territory for some.
This shift in work routine can be a challenge, and in this blog, we're going to break down some ways to help you best adjust.
How to work from home
1. Establish a routine.
By following your regular weekday routine, you can get yourself into the mindset for work. Get up, get dressed, and prepare yourself for the day. Take your lunch break around the same time would at work, and sign off when you would regularly would. By establishing a solid routine at home, you can still be productive (and help pass the time at home).
2. Set up your tech.
If you know you're working from home, make sure you have everything you need. This includes a secure phone line, WiFi, and a working computer. If you don't own a computer or phone, talk to your employer about options. Be sure to install any apps you may need, like Zoom, Slack, or Outlook 365. Don't forget to trouble shoot any programs you haven't used at home before.
3. Establish a work space.
Creating a work space can make working at home easier. Having a makeshift office will help you separate your work life from your home life. This might be a challenge for some if you live with roommates or have limited space. If carving out a physical space isn't an option for you, sharing the kitchen table or living room with who you live with could also be an option.
4. Create a plan for your kids.
Working from home is one thing, but working from home with your children is another. With children home from suspended school, it can be a challenge to actually work. Create a game plan for the week by carving out a schedule for them. This can include online video classes and play and entertainment time. Creating a weekly calendar with varying activities each day -- this will help your kids pass the time, too.
5. Take breaks.
A full work day at home can feel daunting, especially with stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Be sure to take your bathroom breaks, have a snack, or go on a walk during your lunch break. Taking a moment for yourself will help you get through the day and stay present.
When you're working remotely, communication is key. Stay connected with your coworkers and boss during the work day. Using Slack, email, and even phone calls should be part of how you communicate. Make sure you're checking your emails and messages routinely. A good way to stay on top of communication is to set a sound on your notifications.
7. Manage expectations.
For many, working remotely is an entirely new experience. This can be a challenge, depending on the work you do and what needs to be accomplished during a work day. Talk with your manager/superior on the goals and tasks that need to be completed during this time -- and discuss any challenges. It's important to discuss with your manager what is and isn't working for you, so you can find solutions and alternatives.
8. Minimize distractions.
Part of getting into the work mode at home means setting the mood. But, there are many distractions at home that can pose a challenge. Pets, room mates, loud construction, or even a TV can be very distracting. Find ways to minimize any distractions -- like being in a different room than your pet or letting your room mates know you need quiet to work.
9. Be kind to yourself.
Working from home has many benefits, but it's important to take care of yourself during this time. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new stress and anxieties into our lives, and can impact our ability to live and work. During this time, self care and mental health are important, so make sure you're nurturing yourself. Click here for mental health tips during quarantine.