Every day there are more guidelines for social distancing due to the COVID-19 virus — which includes shifting to work from home. Companies are providing resources and tools to help their employees transition to a home working environment.
But what if you've never worked from home and are not set up to do so? Today we'll run through some tips you can use to make sure that you have a productive environment.
It is not uncommon to discover how a new daily schedule can be an unsettling and frustrating experience to start. The good news is that all it takes is the right mindset and some organization to keep you on track — and your work-at-home experience productive.
6 ways to set yourself up to work from home for the first time
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Work to create a routine
- Set boundaries
- Don't forget self-care
- Establish a dedicated workspace
- Be honest about your weaknesses
- Communication is key
Let’s take a look.
1. Work to create a routine
Set your alarm, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. Treat working from home with the same seriousness as if you were still going into the office. This attitude puts you in a productive frame of mind.
Stick to your to-do list for each day.
Modify where necessary to keep on track. At the end of each day, write your to-do list for the next day. Prioritize the tasks that were not accomplished first thing in the morning.
2. Set boundaries
If you have children and they’re at home, try to make plans to keep them entertained so you’re able to focus. At the end of the workday, turn off your devices and get back to your personal life.
3. Don't forget self-care
Get up and go outside. Breaks help you recharge. Remember to stop and stretch for five minutes every hour or so. Self-care habits like these are just as important as getting a solid seven to eight hours of sleep to help mitigate the additional stress this new situation may cause.
4. Establish a dedicated workspace
If you don't have a home office, find a spot away from where you normally relax to create separation. If your family is home, find an area away from activity and foot traffic that could be distracting.
Once you have a dedicated workspace, make it a place you like.
Ensure good lighting. Proper lighting is good for your eyes and mental health. Have a good ergonomic chair and furniture that contributes not only to your comfort but productivity. Keep your workspace organized and tidy, which will contribute to a consistent level of professionalism.
5. Be honest about your weaknesses
Figure out what your distractions are and determine workarounds. Be flexible and work toward scheduling time and tasks to be the most productive. Not meeting your goals? Determine why and put corrections in place.
6. Communication is key
Schedule video chats to keep co-workers and supervisors in the loop. This also contributes to keeping that human connection we all crave. Once that’s established, use it.
Relay to coworkers the resources and equipment you need to meet your goals. Everyone is learning what works best during this time and that may vary by individual. Set office hours so that others at home with you know when you are not to be disturbed.
Remember, you can do this
Once you put these variables in place, and the dust settles, over time you'll determine what works best for you. Take each day, one at a time, and be flexible enough to make the necessary changes with the discipline to follow through.
By keeping a schedule, setting goals and designating your “space,” you are setting yourself up for success.
Who knows, you may discover that you like working from home! Do your best to be super productive and you may be able to convince your employer to let you work from home even more in the future.