With everything currently happening in the world with COVID-19, it’s likely that you’ve been asked to work remotely. Whether you’re thrilled about working from home or worried about what’s going to happen in your industry, it’s inevitable that your daily routine is going to change. Goodbye office, hello video chats and group messaging. Hang in there. We’re all in this together! Here are five helpful tips to ease your transition into working remotely.
1. Figure out how you work best.
Do you know how you best maintain productivity? Incorporate that into your work life. For instance, if exercise energizes you and keeps you sane, schedule small workouts into your day. During lunch, take a walk around the block. For your afternoon break, do a 15-minute yoga flow. These activities will get your body moving and prevent you from feeling socially isolated. As you figure out what works for you, look for support. Reach out to colleagues and supervisors who will listen to your concerns and help brainstorm effective strategies. They can offer help as well as connection during this uncertain time.
2. Create a workspace that feels good, and establish a routine.
When life feels so up-in-the-air, it’s helpful to have a sense of normalcy at home. Create a dedicated workspace/home office that’s solely for work. This will help give you a division of work and home, which will allow you to relax when you sign off for the day. This might also help you stay on track when you’re working and prevent you from feeling distracted. Once you have your workspace set up, you might feel tempted to stay in your pajamas. This will get old, FAST. Get up, shower, and get dressed as if you’re going to leave the house. This will help you get into a productive work mindset.
3. If you live with others, set boundaries.
Whether you live with a spouse or three roommates, it’s difficult to work from home if people are always interrupting you. Make sure you communicate clearly about conference calls, video chats, and certain time frames when work will need your full attention. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated home office, leave a sign on the door when you need to be free of distractions. Life happens, of course, and things never go as planned. During this period of adjustment, colleagues will have to give each other grace. Many parents will be simultaneously working and watching their kids and pets, and simple things like grocery deliveries and phone calls from elderly parents can disrupt your work flow. If you’re heading into a collaboration or virtual meeting and suspect that something might come up, give your colleagues prior notice, just so they know what to expect.
4. Become an expert in time management.
At home, it’s much easier to become distracted. If you need help perfecting your time management skills, download an app, such as Tomato Timer, to make sure you stay on track with regular breaks. If you need someone to hold you accountable, reach out to a friend or colleague who’s also working remotely, and schedule a virtual work date.
5. Be flexible, compassionate, and calm.
Current events have created an entirely new landscape at home and at work, and everyone is trying their best to adjust. Nobody knows what the future holds, but just know that we’re all in this together. Be flexible, have compassion, and use this time to connect with others (from a safe distance, of course). We’ve got this!