We can all agree that the idea of working from home sounds tempting at first, but in reality, it can be challenging. Although there are many pros to working from home, one of the biggest challenges for many is not being able to interact face to face with co-workers or customers. Being a company that values our culture above everything else we have tried to find ways to keep our employees engaged and excited to learn in a time of uncertainty. Our learning and development team recently hosted a lunch n’ learn to dig deeper into this topic. In this blog post, we will explore 4 key strategies to best utilize this time at home and reveal useful tips to keep your sanity in tack.
It’s All About the Routine
Staying in your normal routine is a key part of being mentally prepared for the days ahead; it starts with a sharp and focused mindset. Begin your day like you normally would if you were going into work. Take a shower, workout, get dressed in a typical work outfit, maybe do your makeup, or even put on a pair of shoes. These habits can be a great way to thoughtfully prepare for the workday ahead. Waking up 2 minutes before your first meeting, and staying in your pajamas, working from bed is not setting yourself up for success and will keep you in a slow, groggy mindset all day.
It is very important to establish boundaries between your life and your work. Designating time on your calendar for breaks, lunches and an end to the workday is extremely important for mental health and work productivity. If you don’t apply this strategy at home, you will find yourself working late, checking your emails and feeling like there is no end in sight. This can lead to increased stress and eventually burn out; you must designate time to step away so you can come back mentally refreshed and sharp. Make a plan and stick to it!
Find a Designated Workspace in Your Home
Whether you have a home office, kitchen table or maybe a makeshift desk out of items in your house, finding an area that you can allocate to work is highly important. People have been creative in making their desks by using books, boxes, gym equipment or even stacked toilet paper rolls. Create a space that allows you to feel as if you were really in the office so that you will be able to focus and do your best work.
Creating this space will also set a clear boundary between your work and outside distractions or play. Designating this space is also important to mentally separate where you work and where you relax. Conducting business from the couch or bed reassigns those places that previously were for rest and relaxation now for work.
Whatever you come up with, try to make that area your own, just like decorating your desk or cubical at the office. The last piece of advice is to mix it up. If an area gets old or boring, maybe move to a window with a view or another room with good natural night. Trial and error is an important part of the process for finding a space to work from home. So, if you don’t get it right the first time, try somewhere new.
Amp Up Your Communication
Now in 2020, we are more prepared than ever to do business from home. Understanding and using technology to your benefit is an important part of being efficient and getting the job done remotely. With Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams and more, it is easier than ever to stay connected. In this time, it is important to curate a sense of belonging within teams and companies. Rather than complaining about how we can’t be in the office or see each other in person, be proactive by using these tools to your advantage.
Try to be as transparent as possible, not only between coworkers but from the management level and down. Overcommunicate and schedule phone calls or virtual meetings to keep team members involved with what is going on and the work you have been doing. Making your calendar available for others to view is also helpful, as this allows them to see the specific times you are available. Lastly, celebrate your wins! Keeping track of the work you have done each day, will allow for reflection at the end of the week on your contributions and help you feel a sense of accomplishment.
The most important thing about staying sane as we work from home is being aware of where our time is spent and where it all goes. Many things compete for our time and attention: the tv, texts, social media, phone calls, sleeping, eating, family and kids. You only have 24 hours in a day so where does it all go? This circles back to why it is so important to designate a specific block of time for work, and also for life outside of work. Don’t get so overwhelmed by your work that you forget what good can come from this time. Take walks, play with your dog, eat lunch with your kids, put some music on, make the most of the time that you have to work from home. Self-care is so important but also easily overlooked so take it seriously and remember, if you don’t make it a priority then it’s not going to happen.
The Key Takeaways
- Determine a routine and stick with it
- Create an environment for yourself to succeed
- Over communicate
- Know where your time goes
- Take care of yourself