Pamela Kweller RSSA Staff
Working remotely may be completely new for you. Whether it excites you or makes you anxious, working from home can be done successfully. Here are some of our most helpful tips!
1. Create a comfortable and organized workspace
Find an area in your home that can be dedicated to your work. A private area with a desk is preferred, but work with what you have. The space should have good lighting enabling you to video call if necessary. It may be the corner of your one-bedroom apartment or the kitchen island, it is up to you!
Now that you have a designated workspace, get the materials you need to be successful. Begin by finding a comfortable chair, one that supports good posture. Or do you prefer a standing desk? It may be time to get creative. Place your laptop on a step stool or a stack of books on top of your surface and voila, you have a standing desk. Don’t forget the essentials like paper and pens too.
What about technology needed to do your job? This can include a computer, phone, headphones, and printer. You may not have access to everything your office has, but it is up to you to decide if it is necessary. Do you need two monitors? Do you need a fax machine? There are apps you can download on your phone to fax documents!
Finally, add your special touch. It could be a picture of your family or a plant. Make your workspace as comfortable and fun as you wish.
2. Stay connected and be social
While social-distancing, you can still remain social. Communicate and collaborate with your co-workers frequently via phone or video. You can schedule virtual meetings with clients.
When writing an email, ask yourself if the task would get done faster if you made a quick phone or video call? Not only will the task get done faster, but the social interaction can have a positive impact on your mood.
After work, continue to be social. If you live with friends or family, spend quality time with them. Use virtual methods to catch up with friends and family who you no longer are seeing in person.
3. Establish boundaries with others
Whether your roommates are your college friends or your spouse and children, set some expectations. Let them know the times you will be busy and can’t be interrupted. Additionally, let them know when you are free. If you are in a separate room, you can post a note on the door letting others know if it is okay to enter.
4. Work-life balance
Now it is time to establish boundaries with yourself. Working from home does not mean working 24/7. It is important to begin and end your work day as usual. Try your best not to look at work emails or answer work calls after you have “left” the office.
5. Have a Routine
Create routines that makes you feel happy and productive. Whether it is up to you or your boss, determine what your working hours will be so you can plan routines accordingly.
Your morning routine may include waking up early, showering, getting dressed into “regular” clothes, and eating breakfast all before your work day begins.
Set specific time for breaks including snack breaks, stretch and movement breaks, and most importantly your lunch break. Some people prefer to meal prep as usual and some may use their lunch break to cook a quick meal.
You can find structure in your day by setting goals. Create daily, short-term, and long-term goals. These goals can be professional and/or personal goals. Create a calendar and a schedule to help you accomplish your goals.
7. Devote time to chores
Your living space is now your work space too. Find time each day to do certain tasks such as laundry and dishes. Cleaning things up in the moment make things easier and gives you less to do later. Having a clean and organized workspace with limited clutter will allow you to focus on your work. Also, during these times, it is important to wash your hands and clean and sanitize surfaces often.
8. Do things that make you happy
Make your happiness a priority. Do things that you love. Here are some helpful ideas of what may bring you joy:
- Exercise (there are endless virtual classes online)
- Play with a pet
- Go outside and get fresh air (if that is a safe thing to do depending where you live)
- Cook or bake
- Arts and crafts
- Listen to music
- Listen to a podcast
- Watch your favorite TV show
- Games, puzzles, and activities
- Video chat or call friends and family
9. Eat and drink
You may be busy working, but don’t forget to eat and drink. Hunger can impact your alertness and productivity. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and even headaches. Find time to eat real meals and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
10. Take advantage of this time
It is our hope that the world will be in a better place very soon. It won’t last forever and at some point, you will no longer be working from home. This pandemic is horrible, but working from home does not need to be. Take this unique opportunity and make the best of it!