I have been working remotely for a few years now. If you are new to working from home and need some ideas- Here are some tips and ideas to get started...
1. Have a dedicated workspace. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely work from my couch a lot of days, but when I work from my office space, I feel so much more productive! If you don’t have a room that you can dedicate to office space, designate an area of your home. Maybe it’s your kitchen island or kitchen table. Make it a habit to create your office each day and put it all away at night.
2. Create a work environment. This meshes with the last tip. Try to make sure your space is work-friendly. Create a similar environment that you ordinarily would in your workplace. Some ideas, play music, keep snacks nearby, and keep your area organized with work essentials Trust me, this will help your brain enter “work mode” and get out of “home mode.”
3. Have a morning routine. Set your alarm to wake up at a specific time and create a morning routine before rolling out of bed and going straight to your computer. I like to tidy my house in the morning, brew a cup of tea and meditate before starting the workday.
4. Get dressed. Get ready as if you were going into the office. If you usually wear business casual clothes, you don’t necessarily have to get that fancy, but if you typically shower in the morning, continue the ritual! Do your hair and makeup and put on something that makes you feel like the boss that you are.
5. Set time boundaries. This one is so important! It is so easy to hop on the computer at 8 am and work until bedtime. Try hard to have established working hours. Set up those boundaries for yourself, and your coworkers so they know when you’re online, but otherwise, it can wait until the next workday
6. Get outside. Get fresh air at least once a day! Drink your coffee outside, eat lunch outside, or go for an afternoon walk. I would guess that most of you take a long lunch break at the office, now that you’re at home, you can still do the same! Set those boundaries, baby. Taking a daily break from my computer does allow my brain to reset and recharge so I can finish the day strong.
7. Communicate your schedule. If you live with a roommate or spouse, communicate your schedule at the beginning of the day. Let them know if you have phone calls, webinars, or virtual meetings. Make sure you are on the same page. Share with them what your day looks like to create a quiet space free from distractions.
8. Change your scenery. This one is more useful when we are not in quarantine but can still apply to your house office. Before social distancing, I liked to change my scenery and work from a coffee shop or the library at least once a week just to switch things up. Now that we are housebound, I plan to work from different areas of the house and even create a space outdoors on the patio. Changing the scenery helps to keep the brain stimulated!
9. Don’t forget about your commute time! So many people I know use their commute time to unwind after a day at work. If you need that time to distance yourself from work, build it into your day. Plan an at-home workout during that time, go for a walk, or schedule some downtime to debrief.
10. Focus on work. When you are home, it is easy to start cleaning up or doing laundry, but if you were at the office, chores would not cross your mind. Keep your space as neat as you can to keep your mind centered on work and save the cleaning for after-hours!
Hang in there, folks! I know this is a crazy time for everyone and finding a routine though it all feels like a struggle. Don’t be afraid to take each day as they come and restructure your routine if it isn’t working for you. Everyone is working on finding a new normal, therefore be patient and gentle with yourself.