Some people love the idea. Some people don’t. Either way, working from home has become the new normal for the time being. Here’s some tips for how to make working from home work for you.
Maintain Your Schedule
Keeping a regular rhythm helps give you clear cues for when it’s time to work, and when it’s time to rest. This is key to maintaining work-life balance, and avoiding the temptation to be on all the time (which seems like a good idea in the short-term, but leads to burn-out in the long-term). Remember to also schedule breaks. At home, you won’t have the natural mini-pauses like in the office when you stop to chat with a colleague or go grab some coffee, so build those in on purpose.
Keep a Dedicated Work Space
Having a physical space dedicated for work is a way to increase focus and help maintain work life balance. When you go to your work space it can help shift your mind towards work and get you into productivity mode. When you step away, it’s a cue to unplug, focus on self-care, spend time on family, and tend to your life outside of work. Having a dedicated workspace is also a cue to the others in your space that this is the time to let you have an uninterrupted period of focus.
Working at a distance means communication is even more critical than it already is. Crack a joke about how you’ve already reminded your team seven times about that looming deadline. Then remind them again. Also, be extra clear about how others might interpret your tone by email. Get to be good friends with the exclamation point and smiley face emoji! 😀
Now more than ever, connection is everything. Consider picking up the phone instead of sending an email. Or look for the opportunity to connect via video instead of voice. Speak up in meetings, even if just to say thank you and goodbye. Where appropriate, check in with your colleagues to see how they are doing personally. Remember, what’s going on in the world right now is a big change for everyone. It impacts all aspects of our lives and adds stress for everyone. Children are home, loved ones may be sick, older generations may be in less than ideal situations. Let the people around you know that you care.