With the Corona virus running amok throughout our country, I thought I would share some suggestions on working from home. I’ve worked from home for over 5 years and have some practical points that may be helpful. So, let’s talk about some of these.
One key to successfully switching from the work office to the home office, is to keep up your same routine. Meaning, act as if you are going into the office because you are. Get up as usual and follow all the same routines you would do if you were heading into the office. Get dressed as if you are leaving for the office, don’t fall into the working in my pajamas trap. One day someone will want you to turn on your camera and you don’t want to be caught in your PJ’s. Also, remember to stop work at the end of the day. While this doesn’t sound like it would be a problem, it is. I can’t count how many times I’ve been working on a project, looked up and realized it was hours after the end of my shift. Take lunch, start and quit work on time.
Remove anything and everything that can distract you from your job. At least while you are getting used to working from your home office. It is extremely easy to become distracted by TV, laundry, video games, anything and everything. Remove these things, and once you have been working from home for a while, introduce some distractions but remember, work as if your boss is standing over your right shoulder. For me, that was a big challenge. My work office is also my studio, lots of guitars and musical instruments sit behind me. I did this on purpose, if they are behind me, I am not as easily distracted by them. OK, I still will play a little guitar between meetings or projects if I am looking for inspiration on a project. There is nothing like a small distraction to re-focus the mind on the project at hand. But remember, act and work as if you are in the office.
Dealing with isolation
The lack of communications for some, like me, can be a real problem. If you are a social butterfly, in and out of co-worker’s offices or cubes, remember you have chat applications for that social connection. But, do not fall into the Facebook or other social media trap. The company you work for should or will agree on some type of online communication tool like Skype, Jabber or Teams. Use them to connect with your team. These tools will help you beat the isolation and help with productivity.
I suggest that you invest in a good headset for your computer and the communications software your company decided on. This allows you to make calls from your laptop, and if your laptop doesn’t have a camera, which it should, get one and connect it. This allows you to use video calls in those software tools. This adds some social connection with your team members. I use this often with my team.
Reach out to your team
Remember you may not be the only one who is dealing with cabin fever. Reach out with a video call and chat with a team member. Ask about their day, what project they are working on, offer assistance or just check in. Try to work on projects this way. It allows for collaboration and helps remove the isolation you will feel.
Get out of the house
Even if it’s just to walk around the block or around the backyard, just do it. It will help and recharge your tank. I still go out and pick up lunch, go shopping and sometimes just go for a drive to clear my mind and recharge the internal tank.
Be healthy, take a deep breath and remember you can do this, and we will get through it together.
Now that you have read this post check out this one for a very funny post about working from home