We are living in unusual times due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While social distancing is important to cut down on the spread of COVID19, many of you are finding yourself working from home for the very first time.
A telecommute day here and there is commonplace and fairly easy to get through. However, working from home for an extended period of time is a whole different ball game. I’ve been working remotely from home for the last 10 years. Yes! You heard me correctly. I have been working from home for 10 years straight and I’ve loved every minute of it. In fact, I am convinced that most jobs can be successfully done from home.
Whether or not you want to be locked up in your house all day, well that’s another story.
I have mastered the art of working virtually so I decided to share my 5 tips for working from home that may help those of you who are finding this new normal challenging.
Set office hours. Rule number one when working from home is that you have to create offices hours just like you would if you were in the office. My home office hours are always 9 am to 5 pm. That means I don’t take work calls or check work emails before or after that time. Decide what your work time is going to be and try to stick to that schedule on workdays. This also helps you turn work off, so to speak, when the workday is over.
Get up and take a shower. I know the temptation to just roll out of bed and stay in your PJ's while working is strong. However, you will feel much better if you take a shower and "get ready for work" in the same way you would if you were leaving the house and going to the office. You don't have to have a full face of makeup or put on a suit but clean yourself up before starting work at home. Plus, if you are going to have video conference calls you need to be presentable and look halfway professional.
Create a workspace in your home. If you already have a dedicated room in your home with a home office, then you are ahead of the curve. To be productive you need a dedicated workspace. Even if it is just a corner in your living room, a nook in the hallway, or at the kitchen table. If at all possible do not work in your bedroom! Your bedroom is for sleeping and you don’t want to confuse your brain into thinking that you should be working when you should be sleeping. Trust me, it will throw your sleep pattern off. Having a dedicated space also helps you stay focused.
Oh yeah, your office space shouldn’t be on the couch either. I know it’s tempting but try to avoid it.
Take breaks as needed. Schedule in breaks when working from home just like you would in the office. How you break looks different for everyone. Make time to actually step away from your desk. Since working from home doesn't include casual conversation like you would experience in the office-- and no gossip at the coffee machine-- breaks are a good time to reach out to others. Don't hesitate to update your social media and call or text friends and family to keep social connections while working from home.
Practice wellness and self-care. Being stuck in the house all day can make anyone stir crazy. To help mitigate cabin fever, keep an in-home exercise routine, do yoga, meditate, or participate in any other activity that makes you feel centered and takes your mind off of work before and after the workday begins.
I know I have dashed your dreams of working from home in your pajamas with bunny slippers on, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch and Netflix playing in the background. But if you have actual work to get done you need to set yourself up to be successful.
I hope these tips have been helpful!
What have you been doing to actually get work done while working from home during this Coronavirus pandemic?
Post in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.