As a result of COVID-19, many people find themselves working from home for the first time. This can be a challenging shift for many people, especially with all the distractions found in many homes, like pets, kids, and social media. It is also important that you are able to separate your work time from your personal time, so you can reduce your stress during these challenging times. These are our best tips for working from home.
While it might seem fun to stay in your pajamas or lounge clothes all day, it is important to get dressed. This helps put you in the mindset that it is time to work. It can also communicate to others in your residence that you are going to work now and should not be disturbed. The act of dressing as you would for a day at the office will help you maintain your routine and help you focus.
Establish a Routine
The prospect of having an entire day to fill can be overwhelming for some. Establish a routine so that your days are familiar. This will help ease anxiety. It is also important to have a routine for work, breaks, and meals. You can easily get distracted or forget meals when you don’t have a set schedule. A daily routine helps ensure that you are taking care of work and taking care of yourself. Structure will provide a sense of stability when everything else seems uncertain.
Keep a Dedicated Office Space
If you do not already have a home office, find a corner to turn into your office space. Do not turn the dining room table or your living room into an office unless you have no other option. Find a space away from distractions where you can work. Keeping a dedicated office space will help you stay focused when you are at work, and will make it easy to leave work behind for the day when you are done.
Distractions at home make it hard to get work done. For some, pets or children can cause distraction. For others, it might be social media or games that are distracting. There are apps you can use to block social media or videos on your devices to prevent distraction. Kids and pets are a bit more challenging to “block”, so you may need to adjust your routine so that you work while they nap or watch a movie.
Set Ground Rules
If you live with others, you will need to set some ground rules for work time. Let people who live with you know what your routine will be and what your work hours are. Let them know how and when they can interrupt your work if needed. Establish and agree on ground rules so that you can minimize distractions and disagreements.
Get Some Fresh Air
It is important that you take breaks during the day. If possible, get some fresh air. Open a window to feel the wind on your face. Take a walk around your balcony, porch, or backyard so you can stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors. It is easy to lose track of days and time when you are inside working, so breaks are needed. Make sure you include these break times in your routine.
Be patient with yourself, your coworkers, and the people you share your home with. Everyone is adjusting and learning as we go through these trying times, and it will take a while to get used to this way of living and working. We hope that these tips for working from home will ease the transition for you.