OK, we take back all the times we said it would be great to work from home.
In an effort to #flattenthecurve and lessen the spread of COVID-19, many of us find ourselves scrambling to be productive away from our traditional workspaces. For those who are accustomed to working in an office, a new work-from-home situation vastly complicates things. How can we be efficient with our time in an environment typically reserved for Netflix binges?
Technology is what makes a home office a possibility in the first place, and it’s the last place you want a technical difficulty. Make sure you have all the chargers, software, applications, and bandwidth you need to get things done.
Make a Space
Dirty dishes in the sink, unfolded laundry, and stacks of unopened mail are loud signals we’re not in the office. If you can, set up your workspace in a separate room where you can close the door, or at least map out a dedicated area you can keep clear of clutter.
Dress for Success
It’s tempting to throw routines out the window completely during times like these, but that probably isn’t going to make the best of our professional abilities. The further you get from your “woke up like this” look, the less likely you are to climb back into bed.
Set a Schedule
Our alarm clocks feel less crucial when we don’t have to factor in time for a commute, and we can easily slip into the habit of getting up less and less early to get started. The issue here is, it sets the tone for your entire day, and by extension, your productivity. It’s even more important to stick to your normal schedule as much as possible when it’s almost guaranteed distractions will factor into the day.
Just as we may want to catch up on our sleep in the morning, we might also be apt to work later into the evening than we might on a normal day at the office. Our commutes typically signal the end of the workday and transition us into home life. Even if you’re just moving from the kitchen table to the couch, a physical relocation allows our brains to make the same transition.
Going fully remote is a new experience for lots of employees, and many companies are setting up the guidelines on the fly. Keep the lines of communication open with your supervisor or staff, and don’t anticipate things will run the exact same way as they do at the office. These are unfamiliar circumstances for everyone, and it’s important to cut yourself some slack, too. We are all in this together!