If you’re a business professional that has recently transitioned to working from home, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Millions of people across the world are now adjusting to their new workspaces, bringing a whole new meaning to living where you work and play.
So how exactly do you transition to working from home? Keep in mind that it’s not going to happen overnight, but this new norm will start to work for you if you establish a plan. As long as hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizer and pasta don’t also become our new day-to-day standard, I think we’ll all make it through this difficult time!
Decide on your routine. It’s important to stay as close to your routine as possible because it provides some sort of normalcy. Do you usually start right at 9 a.m. and end right at 5 p.m.? Try to keep to that schedule and don’t start work earlier or later.
Take breaks. Even though you’re used to sitting in an office all day, working from home might leave you feeling trapped, especially when you can’t leave the house due to COVID-19. Take a few more 5-minute breaks than you normally would to avoid going stir-crazy. Walk the dog around the neighborhood, make a snack, get some fresh air, etc.
Communicate with your co-workers. Many companies utilize chat systems such as Hangouts or Slack. Strike up a conversation with your co-workers as you work and don’t rely on just emails. Phone calls are also a great way to stay connected. Just hearing someone you routinely work with can make you feel like things haven’t drastically changed.
Dress the part. It’s tempting to sit at home in your pajamas or sweatpants all day, but it’s vital to still dress as if you were going to work. Your mood is an important component of working from home and getting ready for the day can help you combat the dull feeling that sometimes comes with staying in one spot for too long.
Have a designated workspace. If you don’t have an extra bedroom or home office, you can still set up a spot that you use solely for working. Fight the urge to sit on the couch! You want to be able to separate work from home and lounging on the couch all day defeats that purpose. Set up your computer, printer and other tools that you need throughout the day at your dining room table if need be.
Multitask work tasks only. One of the hardest things about working from home can be all the temptations that surround it. Laundry, Netflix, cleaning the house – the list never ends. Remind yourself that you’re at work and stick to only working on work tasks during your scheduled hours.
COVID-19 has limited social interaction and working from home makes things even harder. After work hours, Facetime with family or loved ones, cook a meal you’ve been wanting to try, take a walk, read a book, do some gardening or anything else that you can think of that will keep yourself busy. When this is all over, remind yourself not to take the little things in life for granted!