Working remotely isn’t a new concept in today’s society, but it may be something that many of us simply aren’t used to. With everything going on and an increased focus on avoiding crowds, you may find yourself working remotely for a time.
Whether you are feeling excitement, apprehension, or a mix, there are a few things that can make this transition easier (and keep you on track!).
Keep your routine
It can be pretty tempting to wake up late and stay in your PJs all day. While that is certainly fun and novel for the first day or so, it isn’t necessarily the best thing to switch into work mode! Wake up early, take a shower, get dressed (yes, that includes pants, and maybe even shoes) and start your day as you normally would. While you are working, remember that, even though you are at home, regular breaks and food are still important! If you can, take your breaks and meals away from the work area.
Create a workspace
If you have a desk or standing desk at home, that is fantastic! You are already one step ahead. Don’t have a desk? That’s OK! Simply creating a space that you can dedicate to work is enough (and try to avoid comfy areas like the couch that may encourage you to turn on the TV, or even take a nap!). Set up your computer, light, notepad, coffee mug… whatever you need that makes your working environment comfortable.
Get some fresh air
Open the window or even take a walk, but definitely try to get some fresh air and light during your work day. We understand that, with social distancing and self (or even obligatory) quarantining, going outside may not be an option. A daily dose of bright light is pretty important for our overall health, so a good alternative to going outside is a light therapy lamp.
We live in a sedentary society, and moving simply doesn’t happen enough. This is likely a problem for you regardless of working from the office or remotely from home. Moving can be as simple as standing up and doing a few stretches to loosen up hamstrings, glutes, and hips that chronically shorten from being in a seated position for hours a day. It can also be going for a short walk, or even doing a few simple exercises (like squats or lunges). Try setting an alarm every 45’ as a reminder!
We may not have the chatty coworker when we are working from home, but distractions are still quite abundant. Household tasks, children, pets, that Netflix series you have been binging on – they all threaten to steal your focus and lower your efficiency.
Having a dedicated work space at home certainly helps, but some planning and self-discipline will go far here. Resist the urge to multi-task and do that load of laundry, or dishes, or cleaning during the work day. Childcare may be trickier with the virus, but if you can, try explaining to your kids that you need to focus on work. Taking a break every 45’ to move can be as simple as playing with your kids, taking the dog for a walk, or cleaning those dishes that have been looming over you for the last few hours.
Working remotely doesn’t mean you are isolated. Programs like Slack really help to stay connected to your colleagues via chat, voice or video calls. If you would normally stop by and say hi to someone at work, you can still do that virtually! Instead of using a voice call, use a video chat – you would be surprised at what a difference that can really make!
And when your coworker sends a meme of you from the company party on the company chat, embrace it and find an even better one!