“Oh, I wish I could just work from home!”
It may very well have been you saying these words after a long drive into the office, and in light of the current situation with Covid-19, it seems that working from home is the new norm. However, many are finding that staying focused is not as simple as it seems, especially given the fact that many are currently home with their entire families, children and trying to balance a life of work, school, taking care of the household while hoping that the carpets stay even relatively clean. This is a very tricky time to be making a work-from-home transition, and so we wanted to share with you a culmination of some of the best methods we have come up with, as well as those that we’ve learned, to help keep you on track and productive while still making the most of this downtime with your loved ones.
The first and most important tip also involves the first and most important part of your day – the morning. Making sure that you’re keeping a regular schedule is extremely important, but also that you stay in the habit of waking up at a decent time. It can be tempting to roll out of bed at 8:55am before your 9:00am call, but at that point you’re still half-asleep. By waking up at least 1.5 hours before you start your work, you have the ability to not only grab a coffee/tea and something to eat, but also spend time preparing anything that needs to be done for your family(ie. Breakfast for kids) and have the time to enjoy eating it with them. Once we get into the working mindset and are glued to our computer, it can be easy to forget that we haven’t moved from our desk chair in 5 hours. Make sure you limit the screen time when you first get up, spend the time preparing for the day and getting fueled to start so that you can be productive during the time you’re online.
The second suggestion we have is to truly set your hours. As mentioned, a schedule is key. By having a schedule set, you have routine and are able to accomplish what needs to be done. If you are able to write out exactly what needs to be done by the end of the day(or even the week if you’re feeling bold), you can work backwards to slot in those tasks into your schedule. Be realistic – don’t plan on staying up until midnight if you’re waking up at 6:00am, and also, make sure you abide by these timelines as best you can. Again, it’s easy to get lost in your computer screen if you’ve got tons on your plate – so when work is over, turn that screen off. It’s more than likely that your boss will be messaging you at all hours because they’re at home, too! Make sure you disconnect and disengage in order to draw that line between work and personal life. The last thing you want is for being home to feel like a drain because of the work you associate with it.
Although there are many other detailed tips and tricks that you can implement, our last piece of advice is to find the silver lining in all of this. Whether that be the time you get to spend with your family that you never had, or connecting with your friends over apps like “House Party”, it’s extremely important to make time to see the benefit of being close to those we care about most, even if it’s not physically. We tend to lead very rushed, busy lives, and the corporate world can be grueling. Take this time to take a step back and enjoy the added downtime from not having to commute or having your kids at home. These is an extenuating circumstance that can fill our heads with worry, anxiety and uncertainty – but the key is to remember that we will get through this, and there is no use overthinking or stressing yourself out more than necessary, when this is out of our control. Find the silver lining and golden nuggets within this time. It could be picking up an old hobby, or completing a paint by number you never had time to start; maybe it’s being able to connect with relatives that are in a different part of the world on a more regular basis. Keeping a healthy, optimistic mindset is key to productivity, efficiency and success in this trying period – and is also much better for your health. Stress is shown to inhibit your body’s ability to fight off antigens, and at this time, we need to be our healthiest selves. Don’t stress over what you can’t control – rather, acknowledge, adapt and make the best of it in whatever way you can.
If you ever need someone to connect with, or are looking for help with work from home habits for you or your team, we would love to help. We’re passionate about success, no matter what the circumstances and are looking forward to coming out of this, together.