Even though the COVID-19 virus has more and more people working from home, there are business across the company that are 100% virtually based! If you are in the middle of a office setting shift, take a look over these five tips to keep you productive and maintain work-life balance!
1. Maintain Working Hours
If you were in the office & sending emails by 8 AM, don't let being home bound change that! Having a set schedule & clear guidelines for when you're working helps remote workers maintain some type of work-life balance!
If you take a lunch from 12 to 1, shut the laptop down, walk away and eat your lunch! Use this time to do the little things around the house that are screaming at you like the dishes or the laundry. You can use this time to run an errand or take a walk outside. These breaks are important. Just because you are stuck at home, doesn't mean you shouldn't get to take your regularly scheduled breaks.
2. Create a Morning Routine
Deciding when you are going to start work is one boundary in itself, but what you do leading up to that time is what tone will start off your day! What did your routine look like when you had to make that drive to work? Did it start with a shower and a cup of coffee? Did you fix your hair a certain way?
Many think that working from home has it's perks because you can sit on your couch and work in your pajamas, but that could be detrimental to your productivity as well and your psych! Getting up and following your normal morning routine sets your mind in the right frame to get business done.
3. Keep a Dedicated Office Space
In a perfect world, you would have a empty room waiting for you at home with a desk, a
printer and a computer! Now, reality is you might not have extra space in your home to accommodate a home office, and that's okay! The important thing to remember is the need to have your space, even if it means cleaning it up every night into a neat stack.
I have a home office / craft room, but usually there is a small child at home at the same time so locking myself away is not an option. I set up my camp at the dining room table so that I have sight lines to my children & their activities. The down side is it all gets cleaned up and in a neat stack on my breakfast bar so we can function as normal, but during my "working hours" that is my *office*.
4. Check in with your supervisors and colleagues often.
If you are having to work at home, you are probably not the only one. All of your work colleagues and supervisors are at home to. The key to being separated is over-communicating in writing. Don't assume that your colleague saw your email. Don't read a colleague or business partners email without acknowledging that you received & read the information.
If you are missing that person to person contact, invite them to a Zoom meeting or Google Hangout! A little 5 to 10 minutes of face-to-face conversation is good for the soul! You can also accomplish more in a few minutes of talk then a day of email threads.
5. Do what you can but have those conversations when you can't.
It is important to try and keep as much normalcy in your life as possible, but let's be realistic with the times that we are faced with. Businesses are making hard decisions, limiting hours and some are shutting their doors. There might be a few tasks or projects you can't finalize due to another party's closure. When this happens, don't be afraid to have that conversation with your team or supervisor. They might be expecting those delays and have alternative tasks set up for you to complete instead.
Whatever your reason for being at home is, don't let it be an excuse for not being productive! While many things are on hold, there is plenty of opportunities to take care of other items on your task list.