No morning commute, no stopping by your colleague’s desk to say hello, no lunch at your favorite restaurant around the corner from your office, the daily routine is feeling much different for many workers as the world works to contain COVID-19. Working from home
Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life. What about office equipment, career development, training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues? Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means figuring out these issues and others.
Here are out top tips for leading a better and more productive remote-working life during the coronavirus outbreak.
Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What in your morning routine indicates you’re about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.
Having a desk set up that works for you is key. Try to create a small area at home that’s a dedicated space for work. This will not only help you stay in the right frame of mind but will also create a clearer separation between your work and home life. Creating boundaries will make it easier for you to switch off from work and ‘leave the office’ at the end of the day.
You should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours. Plus, if your role is collaborative, being on the same schedule as your coworkers makes everything much easier.
If you live with other people, this separation is even more critical. Communicate with the people you live with to establish boundaries so you can cut down on distractions during the workday, and then disconnect and give the people you care about your full attention. Having a separate time and space to work will allow you to be more present in your home life.
Distraction is one of the big challenges facing people who work from home especially people who aren’t used to it. You took a few breaks throughout the day at the office, and that’s fine to do at home, too. Using that time to throw in a load of laundry is OK, but try not to look at your new work arrangement as an opportunity to finally clean out that closet or anything else that takes a lot of sustained focus.
Right now, one of the biggest distractions is the news. And if you’re working remotely because of the new coronavirus, checking in on COVID-19 updates is going to be at the front of your mind. It’s good to stay informed, of course, but it’s also easy to scroll yourself into an anxious mess.
We highly recommend you to listen to Dan Schawbel’s podcast about the pressures that new technology trends have, placed on human needs for community and bonding at work, and how teams can communicate and collaborate effectively while working remotely.
Listen the podcast here: https://hbr.org/podcast/2020/04/working-from-home-and-company-culture/