A foreign concept to many of us, working from home is an adjustment. It typically takes some time to perfect, and many of us have recently made this transition with little more than a moment’s notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to take a deep breath and cut ourselves some slack as we figure this out.
I can’t stress how important it is to stay connected to colleagues. It is easy to feel lonely and isolated when working from home for long periods of time. Err on the side of overcommunicating. We don’t realize how much of our communication might happen just passing each other in the hall, or when we run into each other in the kitchen. Pick up the phone and call instead of sending an email. Use video for as many calls as possible. Even if it makes you a little uncomfortable, you’ll get used to it.
I also suggest finding some time for personal connectivity. These relationships are a huge part of our company culture and play a big part in the way we work together. Check in with others to see how they’re doing, how their weekend was, or what book they’re reading.
Get “Ready” for Work
While working from home, it’s so easy to want to stay in your pajamas. Although it's convenient, I find this does absolutely nothing for my mental health and my productivity. I suggest getting dressed and getting yourself ready as if you are leaving the house – it will boost your confidence and shift your mindset, preparing you for your workday. Think of this time getting ready as your “commute.”
Prioritize Movement and Exercise
Make a concerted effort to get up and moving multiple times throughout the day. Get the blood flowing. When you’re not in the office, you’ll find it’s easy to move a lot less. If you have the time, start your morning with yoga to help wake up. Take your dog for a walk at lunch, or keep simple stretches on hand to utilize during quick breaks. I also recommend making an effort to get outside for sunshine and fresh air.
Create the Perfect Workspace
Creating the perfect workspace is something that’s going to be different for everyone. Establishing boundaries is helpful. Find a dedicated space to call your own when working remotely. It allows you to deter family members or roommates from constantly popping in throughout the day and remove yourself from your workspace when you’re not working.
Schedule Lunchtime & Breaks
Most people find they are more productive and work longer hours when working remotely. It’s hard to step away when your office is right there in your home. Schedule short breaks for yourself throughout the day, put them on your calendar, and stick to them. Carve out time for lunch, and enjoy your meals away from your workspace.
Block scheduling is a tactic that helps organize and track your time throughout the day. You dedicate periods of time to singular activities. For example, from 8-9 AM I prep my day and respond to emails and messages from the day or night before. From 10 AM-12 PM, I recruit. This helps maintain focus and tackle projects and tasks.