For many of us, working from home is the new normal. But as comfortable as it may be working in pajamas all day, settling into a productive and efficient routine can be a bit of a challenge. If you need help adjusting to your new work environment, you’re not alone! That’s why we’re sharing our top tips to keep things as close to normal as possible.
Maintain Regular Hours
Working from home offers lots of flexibility that can soon having you working later in the night or earlier in the morning. Set a schedule for hours when you’ll be online and make your team aware of your plans. That way, you don’t feel obligated to answer emails or work ahead when you’re spending down time with your family or enjoying your relaxing evening.
Create a Work Space
It may seem appealing to work from the couch or in bed, but these locations often come with distractions or keep you from maximizing your efficiency. The best way to get into “work mode” is to designate a space in your home dedicated to work, away from noise and distraction so you can stay on task! Whether it’s at your kitchen island or in your home office, be sure to let everyone at home know that during specific hours, these areas are now a quiet zone. Setting clear expectations and work zones make it easier to maintain work/life balance during shelter in place.
Now that you’ve established a work zone, it’s just as important to schedule breaks during your day to step away. A coffee break in the morning, lunch break or a late afternoon walk around the block is a good way to reset and refocus. You’ll return refreshed and ready for your next project. Have trouble finding time for breaks? Use your calendar tool to set appointments with yourself and make taking a break a priority. You and your work will benefit in the long run.
Stay in Touch with Your Team
With everyone working from home, you could begin to miss the day-to-day interaction with your team and feel out of touch without time spent around the water cooler. Make an effort to catch up with your coworkers over company instant message systems or before your morning conference call, or set up a weekly touch base. Despite the convenience of video conference calls, sometimes details get lost. It’s important to overcommunicate project expectations and follow-up with informative emails to ensure everyone stays on the same page.
Keep Children on a Schedule
For some, working from home during our current shelter in place orders also means balancing child care and home-schooling responsibilities as well. It’s important to keep children on a schedule, too! Be sure to designate online learning hours and lunch time so there is structure to both of your days. Define set times to assign activities and to check in on activities, as well as set aside time for play – such as time for gaming, watching videos or going for a walk out of doors.
Across the board, the solution to successful work from home is planning ahead and managing your schedule. Be proactive in establishing healthy habits, designating a productive workspace and keeping in contact with your co-workers and you’ll soon discover you’re settling into a comfortable routine.