Due to COVID-19, governments around the world are asking people to practice “social distancing” to help level the curve of new cases. This means that many people are being asked to work from home instead of going into the office. So, we’ve compiled some tips that might help make working from home a little easier and more productive.
Wearing your pajamas to work can seem like a dream come true but could lead to some bad habits. Changing out of your sleepwear (if you wear any) and into regular clothes will help you mentally prepare for the day and put you into a productive mindset. An added benefit is that if your boss asks for a surprise video call you’re not scrambling to look presentable or put on clothing.
One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s easy to overwork when working from home. Keeping to your normal work schedule not only will help you avoid burning out, but will also set clear work-life boundaries for you, your family and your boss. It might be helpful to get into the habit of sending “I’m online now!” and “Done for the day!” chat message/emails to your boss and team to let them know what your status is.
We’ve all heard it before, sitting too long in front of the computer is bad for you. When working at home, there’s likely a chance that you’ll have fewer physical interruptions to your day so it’s very easy to get caught up in your work. Taking breaks can also help mentally break up your day so you don’t overwork (seeing a pattern yet?) and avoid taxing yourself both mentally and physically.
Working from home you don’t have a daily commute to help you disconnect from the stresses of work and bring you back to a personal mindset. It can lead to bringing work stress into your personal life. Take 30 minutes to step outside, even if it’s only onto your balcony or backyard, so you can take a few minutes to move from work mode back to your regular life. If you can’t get outside, get up from your workspace and walk around your home, cuddle a pet or just sit on the couch or a chair for a moment.
Having a space just for working can help with your productivity and concentration. As this is a last-minute situation, not many people will have a home office or work area set up so do the best you can. A comfortable chair and uncluttered area for your work computer can go a long way. Try to keep it free of distractions and clutter that could pull you away from your work.
You wouldn’t spend your day on social media if you were in the office so it should be the same for when working at home. (Unless it’s your job, then ignore this point!) Scrolling through your social media feeds can suck you in and lower your work productivity. Try to keep it to your set break times and maybe set yourself some alarms if you find that you’re struggling with it.
It can feel isolating when working by yourself at home. Try to call friends and family during breaks or after work to reconnect. Call/video call your boss or team instead of an email once in a while when giving updates. It will help you feel less alone and keep your team connected.