As we all continue to get adjusted to working from home, you may find yourself needing some assistance getting into your new routine. It can be challenging to juggle both home and work obligations while in the same environment, so check out these guidelines that may apply.
Create a Morning Routine
- Set your clock to get up in the morning.
- Change into everyday clothes that aren’t your pajamas.
- Get something to drink and eat before starting your work day.
- Be prepared to start working the same hours you do just like when you’re at your work location.
Choose a Designated Workspace
- Find a room preferably with a door or away from distractions.
- Pick a space away from your bedroom. In our minds, our bedroom is a place of rest. If we identify a workplace away from our resting area, then we’re establishing a separation between the two.
- Find a place with good Wi-Fi, internet, and printer connections if necessary.
- Choose an area with proper lighting or sunlight to brighten spirits and get you in a good mood for work.
- Treat this space as your work office. Make sure it’s organized and stocked with office supplies you’ll need to do your job.
Manage Your Priorities and Schedule
- Make a list of the top things you need to get done each day.
- Use your calendar to schedule meetings, phone calls, or video conferences.
- Use an alarm or timer to make sure you stay on track with the schedule you have planned.
- Put up a do not disturb sign on your home office door or a table letting your family know you are working and cannot be interrupted.
Communication is Key
- Tell your family and friends that during set work hours you can’t be disturbed. Let them know that though you are home, it doesn’t mean you are off work. Make sure they know when your breaks are and when you can talk or spend time with them.
- Communicate with your boss and others to let them know your schedule and what you plan on accomplishing for the day. Keep all lines of communication open, so everyone knows that you’re on the clock working.
Stay Away from Home Distractions
- Things that make you lose focus on your work and schedule need to be avoided during your time working from home. If your attention to your work is gone, before you know it you’ve accomplished very little and are unable to meet deadlines.
- No TV
- No video games
- No nonwork-related phone use
- No website browsing not work-related
- No friends and family
Move Your Body, People!
- It is so easy to keep snacking because the kitchen is a few steps away from you, which leads to weight gain and sluggishness throughout the day.
- Take a break and do 15-30 minutes of exercise every day.
- Go for a walk around the block or do stretches inside to get your blood flowing. It helps to re-energize you before returning to work.
- Within your regular scheduled lunch break, have lunch with family and friends
- Take 5-10-minute mini-breaks throughout the day to clear your head. Sometimes we must step away, and that’s okay.
- If it’s helpful to you, use a timer to make sure you come back to work on time. It may help you stay on track if you’re easily distracted.
Video Conference Calls
- Dress appropriately for your video conference call. No PJs or t-shirts with inappropriate sayings. Have a casual shirt that does not bring attention to the conference call.
- Test your lighting to make it bright enough so people can see you on the call.
- Test your computer and sound. Make sure the video conference feature works and that people can hear you. If not, contact your IT rep for repairs.
- Make sure you’re in your office space with a neutral background. You want an area that doesn’t take focus away from your conversation.
- Make sure there are no additional distractions like family members or pets. Communicate that you’re going to be on a video call, and you can’t be disturbed. This space is off limits while on the conference or video call. It’s essential for you to control your environment and what people see when you’re on a video call.
End Your Workday and Prepare for the Next Day
- Set a timer for yourself to signal the end of the work day.
- Make a priority list for work you’ll get to the next day.
- Shut down your computer and leave your workspace well-organized.
- Try to stop thinking about work and ease into your down time.
- Spend time with family and friends or take time for yourself.
- Get plenty of rest for the next day to stay on schedule.
Remember that you and your company are in this together. As all of us continue to navigate through our current pandemic situation, keep in touch with your coworkers, friends, and family, and stay safe.