Working from home for the first time?
Here are some tips and tricks to keep you productive all day long!
Given the current Covid19 / Coronavirus outbreak, we realize that many people who have never worked from home will be doing so in the coming weeks. High-five for doing your part to flatten the curve!
Here are some tips that will make the transition from the workplace to working from home a little easier:
1) DO NOT skip your normal morning routine!
If you’re working from home, it’s important to get yourself in the same mindset that you would if you were going into the office. That means don’t skip any of your morning rituals! If you normally wake up at 6am, stretch, shower & make a coffee to go…then keep it up, sister! A common misconception about working from home is that you crawl out of bed & work in your pajamas. Look, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re disciplined enough to snap your mind into shape before you sit at your home computer. It’s much easier to transition into remote work if you treat your morning rituals the same as you would if you were heading to the work place.
2) DO take breaks at the same time you normally would!
Taking breaks throughout the day is important, whether you work from home or commute to an office. Another common misconception about people who work from home: “They hardly get anything done, they’re taking long breaks throughout the day!”. Let me tell you, this is generally not the case. Much to the contrary, in fact, those of us who work from home tend to work longer hours & take less breaks. How could that be, you ask? Well for starters, you don’t have a boss and coworkers roaming in and out of your office to chat or ask questions. You have far less people asking “how was your weekend”. Plus, when you work from home you tend to work later than if you were at the office because you don’t have to drive anywhere! You’re already home & will finish up that last 40 minutes that you otherwise would put off for tomorrow if you had a 30+ minute commute ahead of you.
3) DO NOT raid the fridge & DO eat healthy snacks!
When I first started working from home, I swear I could hear the pantry calling me by 11am… “There are chips in here…” | When you work in an office atmosphere, your entire kitchen & pantry are not at your disposal, and that tends to be a good thing for those of us who like to snack. There is NOTHING wrong with snacking, in fact, we encourage it! But when you’re working from home, it’s a good idea to refrain from raiding your pantry whenever you feel like it. And if you must raid, try to focus on light healthy snacks that won’t bog you down or make you sleepy.
4) IGNORE the siren call of the Couch/Television
I know it’s tempting, but Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT take your laptop to the couch to turn that television on! It’s a death rattle of productivity. The second you trick yourself into believing that you can accomplish just as much with the Kardashian’s streaming in the background, you know you’re in trouble. When you first start working from home, this is a very real temptation – but I promise you it’s a terrible habit to start & won’t be easy to quit, either! So no matter how tempting or how redundant your task-at-hand, do NOT turn that TV on!
5) Master The 4pm Sleepies… YAWN.
It can happen to the very best of us, but we have to find a way to fend off the 4 o’clock sleepies without giving in to the lure of the bed just around the corner. If you’re sick or not feeling well, obviously go take that nap and get your rest! But if you know that you tend to get very sleepy and tired a couple hours after lunch, don’t get into the habit of taking a nap – especially if your remote-work is decidedly temporary. You don’t want to trick your body into thinking daily naps at 4pm are to be expected. Instead, take a minute to walk around the block, chug some water, get up and stretch, hell you can get up and DANCE if you’re in the comfort of your own home…but do NOT go lay down and take a casual nap after 2pm. If you MUST take advantage of that bed around the corner while working from home, keep it to 40 minutes and consider that your lunch break!
6) Communication is KEY.
During the Covid19 social-distancing, many employers are treading uncharted territory with employees working from home. Whether you’re a seasoned telecommuter or a first-timer, it’s very important to be on-call and communication-ready during your normal working hours. Discuss with your boss what the best way to communicate is:
- Some bosses want text check-ins
- Some bosses want emails throughout the day
- Some bosses prefer project and task management apps
- Some bosses prefer phone calls & Skype meetings
For example, I used to work from home & would have 2-3 scheduled Skype meetings throughout the day with my boss and/or employees to check in on projects, have time to ask questions or give feedback, or run through the next day’s priorities.
Figure out how your boss and/or coworkers prefer to communicate during remote work days and make sure you follow through with that communication method.
While we are all navigating the Coronavirus the best we can, those of us here at Lovestitch want to wish you all the very best health. Thank you for joining us in the efforts to flatten the curve, save lives, and take some pressure off of our healthcare systems.