8 Tips for Working from Home

by User Not Found | Apr 20, 2020
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COVID-19 has turned business in America upside-down, with many companies shutting their doors, at least temporarily, and millions of others sending their employees home to work. 

For some, the transition to working from home has been a breeze, but for many, it’s been a challenge. As you settle into this new normal, here are a few tips to make the most of remote working. 

Create a designated workspace. 
Whether it’s an existing home office, or your dining room table, designating a space for work helps to separate work from home life.

Stick to a routine.
Establishing and adhering to a routine helps us develop habits that encourage productivity and help us achieve our goals. Get up at the same time every day, set dedicated work hours and stick to them. Be careful not to let work creep into your family time. 

"I start work every morning at 8AM and try to take an hour for lunch to give myself a break or take a walk to refresh. I try to stick to a set schedule, I think it helps to have a routine when working offsite." ~ Michelle Garst, Director, Interactive Media & Marketing

Set ground rules for others in your home. 
Working from home becomes a real challenge if you live with other people, particularly if you have children. Set rules for your kids so they know what they can and cannot do during your work hours. Divide up domestic tasks between adults in the home so no one person feels they must take it all on alone.

"I work from home (even before COVID-19) and have three young boys, who can make it a real challenge to get things done during the day. I have learned to schedule meetings and conference calls during nap/rest times, or in the evenings after my husband gets home from work so he can wrangle the kids!" ~ Melody Foster, Senior Copywriter and Content Marketer  

Take breaks.
Build regular breaks into your daily routine. At a minimum, take an hour for lunch and two 15-minute breaks during the day to walk away from the computer and phone. Get up from the table or desk, walk around the house, make a cup of coffee, or go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Ask for what you need.
Working at home requires a set-up that allows you to be productive in the home environment. Whether it’s another monitor, keyboard, office chair, printer or certain software program, ask your employer for the equipment you need to do your job. During the coronavirus pandemic, be reasonable, perhaps considering requesting a lumbar support pillow rather than an entirely new desk chair. 

Over Communicate.

Be sure everyone on your team is aware of your work schedule and availability, and remind them often. When you finish up a task or project, make it known. Communication can be simple but is essential for keeping everyone in the loop.

Be realistic with expectations.
If working from home is not your norm, it’s important to be flexible and realistic with your time. A work-life balance is essential for your health (and sanity!). 

"It's important to set goals and have realistic expectations for what to accomplish in a day. Spending a few minutes getting organized also helps keep expectations in check." ~ Michelle G.

"Being a work at home mom is definitely a challenge, but I communicate the reality of my situation with my clients and coworkers (who are very understanding and gracious!) and plan activities and snacks ahead of time to keep my kids busy when I need to get work done. My kids’ needs will always come first; sometimes that means I have to work after they go to bed at night. The challenge is worth the reward of being at home with my kids!" ~ Melody F.

Stay in touch.

Human connection is more important than ever. Even though we can’t spend time together in person, take advantage of technology and connect with your coworkers, friends and loved ones regularly through text, phone calls and video communications. 

Take advantage of the perks.
Working from home has distinct challenges, but there are also definite benefits to working from home, even if it's temporary. Take a break in the middle of the day to bake a loaf of bread or take your dog for a walk. 

Current times require businesses to adapt and rethink work processes in order to stay viable and competitive. Be flexible, knowing that things can change from one day to the next. And stay positive. In these uncertain times, we could all use a dose of positivity. Take time to care for yourself mentally, physically and spiritually so you will be in the best frame of mind to face the challenges of each new day.
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