Many of us were thrust into working from home with little time to prepare an office space or think of how we’d even manage this new challenge. With a few days under our belts, some of the honeymoon stage and novelty has worn off. Now we’re struggling with new aches and pains from not having a proper desk and chair and falling behind on our work.
An expert with over 15 years of experience working from a home office shares her best tips to help you transition.
Keep to your regular morning routine and work schedule. No sleeping in. People are counting on you to be available. Be a team player.
Get dressed every day. Don’t just change into a clean pair of pajamas. A full suit isn’t necessary, but dressing for work tells your brain it’s time to work.
Make a desk. Even if it’s the kitchen table or the top of your dresser, you need a dedicated place. Even better if it’s a space with a door or an area where you can block out distractions. If you are working in the kitchen or a common area, put your work and laptop away each night to give you a mental and visual break from work. Try and keep work and home separate.
Take breaks to walk around. It’s easy for a few hours to slip by and realize you haven’t gotten out of your chair. In the office, you’re always getting up to grab something from the printer or chat with your co-workers.
Remember you are working. This is not the time to throw a quick load of laundry into the washer. Or the time to be checking Facebook constantly since nobody is really watching you. Treat your daytime working hours as work hours so you can stay focused and caught up with your work.
Stop at your normal quitting time. The work will be there tomorrow. Get outside. Play with your kids or pets. While you are on home quarantine, it’s vital to change up your scenery and step away from your new home office. It’s also helpful to announce to your family that you are “home from work” so everybody knows it’s family or personal time and no longer the workday.
Talk to somebody every day. If you’re working from home alone all day, or in separate quarters from your spouse, pick up the phone to hear another human’s voice. Don’t rely just on texting or email to communicate. Human interaction is so important, now more than ever.