Over the last couple of years, the term “remote work” has grown exponentially in popularity. Although, up until recently, most people probably didn’t anticipate finding themselves in this type of arrangement anytime soon.
Maybe it doesn’t sound all that bad, right? An opportunity to work in your pajamas, take lunch in your own kitchen, and jump on virtual meetings from the comfort of your couch. While there are many perks to being able to work from home, it doesn’t necessarily come without its own set of challenges.
As a large portion of the workforce are now rushing to understand and cope with these changes, we wanted to share a few of our best tips to help you quickly navigate the work from home landscape. We’re here to be your ally in this understandably confusing time, or at the very least, a sensible voice to help steer you away from showing up to a video meeting in your underwear.
Top Tips for Working at Home
Pivoting to a new style of work can be tough, but it isn't impossible. Here are our top tips for where to start, how to find balance, and which tools can help you succeed in a work from home job.
Create a Work-From-Home Space
It is usually first nature to want to cuddle up on the couch with your laptop. Over time, however, this can prove to be a mistake and your aching back may pay the price. The best course of action, when moving to a work from home scenario, is to set up a dedicated home office space that is as ergonomically correct as possible.
Remember, a home office doesn’t necessarily have to be a traditional desk and chair. You may find yourself using a card table and chair or a standing desk at the kitchen counter. Wherever you choose to make your new space, try and make it in a space without too many distractions and utilize the resources you already have available.
Stick to a Schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to let the alarm go to snooze or feel like you need to work late into the night. The lines between work and personal time can quickly turn into a blur. For both your productivity and well-being, it is important to set working times up front and strictly stick to them.
Besides simply having a set work schedule for your own needs, this will also help your family understand when you are available to them outside of emergencies.
Get Up and Move Around
This is important whether you work in an office setting or at home. Taking a few moments to get up and walk around can help boost your energy, engagement, and efficiency. These movements can be something as simple as stretching, walking around the room for a few minutes, or doing a few yoga moves at your desk.
Set a timer if you need to, but remember to move, go outside, or take a break to eat. Staying healthy is important, especially under the current circumstances.
Turn Off Distractions
It is probably safe to say that learning to tune out distractions is easily the top struggle of working from home. There are just so many of them! The laundry needs to be done, there are dishes in the sink, the sun is shining outside. How do you stay focused on getting your work done while all of these things beg for your constant attention?
Our best tip is, again, to stick to a schedule. If you were getting your household chores done after work or on the weekends before, continue to do them in the same manner now. And that t.v. that is calling your name? Turn it off. Hide the remote if you have to.
The truth is that working from home can be very lonely. This is especially true now as we are also battling the woes of social distancing due to COVID-19. Although, even with social-distancing, it is still possible to still obtain connections digitally.
When working with on projects with teams, it’s a great idea to utilize available digital resources in order to stay connected. Some of our favorite resources to use in order to stay connected are:
- Slack: an chat box type tool
- Zoom: a video conferencing tool
- Microsoft Teams: a document sharing tool
- Trello: a team based to-do list
Dress for Success
While staying in your pajamas all day sounds glorious, getting dressed and ready for your day can also help you stick to a much needed routine. Pajamas are great for feeling cozy, which is not necessarily helpful for getting things done.
Beyond getting dressed to improve your productivity, it is also a great idea to look presentable when using video conferencing apps like Zoom. While it would be great for a laugh, accidentally being seen in your private attire isn’t necessarily a great way to start your meeting.
Give Yourself a Break
Lastly, remember to give yourself a break in all of this. Most of us are just learning the ropes and mistakes will happen. It will take a bit of time, but eventually you’ll learn to navigate this uncharted territory, just as you have done with other obstacles in the past. And if nothing else goes right, you could accidentally turn yourself into a potato like this boss did and unintentionally bring joy to your team and millions of others across the internet.
Stay Informed with Qualified Staffing
Looking for more helpful tips to navigating the current COVID-19 landscape? Turn to our frequently updated resources page or contact us directly for personalized information about how we can help you stay productive in uncertain times. You are not alone in this.