Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you are having a great day! Are you working from home right now? My husband is, and I know that it can present quite a few hurdles, especially at first. 🙂 I have been working from home for almost 15 years, so I thought I might share some great at-home tips, if you find yourself officing from home during this Covid pandemic too. These are some tips that I found to be useful, but I definitely think this new normal might look different based on your needs or your family’s needs. So, being really honest about where you are at when coming up with your own plan is so important. I see this in my own kids even..two of my kiddos love a schedule and structure and the third needs freedom and space to work. It’s just good to know where you fall and respect that. :). So, let’s get started!
1. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it
2. Create a Morning Routine
Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What in your morning routine indicates you’re about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.
3. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. If you have children who who are home with you while you’re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Also, don’t try to take on all domestic duties because you’re home, you may feel taken advantage of, and your productivity may suffer.
4. Schedule Breaks
Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. A lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks seems to be the standard for full-time US employees.
5. Take Breaks in Their Entirety
Don’t short-change yourself during breaks, especially your lunch hour.
6. Leave Home
To the extent that it’s allowed and safe where you are during the COVID-19 outbreak, get out of the house, provided you can maintain social distancing of course. The same advice applies to people who work in traditional office settings, too. Leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good.
Take a walk. Weed the garden. You get the picture.
7. Keep a Dedicated Office Space
Dedicate a desk and computer only for work use. This will help you feel like you are going into an office setting.
8. Maintain a Separate Phone Number
Set up a phone number that you only use for calls with colleagues and clients. It can be a free VoIP service, such as Google Voice or a Skype number. Similar to some of the other tips, having a separate phone number helps you manage your work-life balance.
9. Give yourself and your family Grace
This is the most important one in my opinion! Don’t try to do everything, because you can’t! Give yourself and those around you space to not be perfect and make mistakes!