11 Tips on Conquering Working From Home During the Coronavirus
A global pandemic, COVID-19, better known as Coronavirus, has swept through the world leading to massive quarantine and the famous “social distancing”. Many businesses have had to either shutdown temporarily or move employees to work from home.
For some, working from home is a dream come true. Getting to work in PJs, eat food whenever they want, unlimited bathroom breaks, and extra time with the family. Others are not so excited, realizing that working from home can cause a distraction. Maintaining “office hours” when family or pets are outside the makeshift home office begging for attention can be stressful and sometimes lead to guilt. When new to remote work, people may feel like they will have all the time in the world to accomplish things, then quickly realize that in reality there is no longer a work-life balance. All of a sudden, being home means answering work calls and emails at all hours or maybe procrastinating on work to do things around the house.
Here at The RiCH.agency we have dabbled in working remotely for years. Along the way we have gathered a few tips to help ease any newcomer into the wonderful life of working from home. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows, but with these 11 tips, it’s surely to much better!
1.Keep a routine
Wake up, have that cup of coffee, make some breakfast. If you want to spend this time with family, that’s great! Just make sure you have a distinct time you start working, to prevent loosing track of time (alarms can help here).
2. Set a work schedule
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are new to working from home is thinking they can get everything done quickly and have the rest of the day to do whatever they want. This can quickly lead to tasks falling between the cracks or being sucked into work and missing out on home life. Instead set a schedule, it’s ok to change it around some to find what really works for you. Or just stick with your typical work schedule as if your in the office. This will help mitigate some procrastination.
3. Put on people clothes
Yes, put on people clothes! Aka, get dressed in something other than PJs or sweatpants. Everyone knows the movie scenes where someone is working from home and has a video conference but isn’t wearing pants. This may be funny and how you prefer to spend your weekends, however getting dressed or putting on makeup can make a world of a difference in productivity. I won’t lie, there has been times I have worked from home in my fluffy robe and slippers sipping hazelnut coffee, yum. But I didn't accomplish nearly anything I wanted to that day. Just simply changing clothes tricks your mind into thinking its time to do something and be more energized.
4. Have a designated area to work
Wither it’s an actual office that's already set up in your home, or the dinning room table that's cleaned off, have a work area. Having a place you can go everyday and know that is where you work does wonders. If possible, I highly suggest a room with a door you can close if you live with other people. This way you can block out noise when needed.
5. Utilize video meetings with your co-workers or clients
Our agency utilizes this everyday! Being able to see a person's face and communicate with them as if your face-to-face, builds a trust that can’t be achieved over just email or phone. If you’re not used to working remotely this will help you feel more like your back in the office and give a feeling of socializing.
6. Explain to family working at home is the same as working in the office
I can’t stress how import this tip is. Just because you know there is work to be done, doesn’t mean family/friends understand to leave you alone. Setting work hours and a schedule will help ease everyone into this transition. If you have little kids at home, especially with daycare closed with the coronavirus, try closing off your work space to limit distractions. Also, refer your family to the schedule you created showing them you have set aside time for them as well.
7. Schedule time to go on walks, or play outside with the family and/or pets
Just like at the office, you need a brain break. A great way to take one, and make the family happy as well, is spend some time with them every few hours. Do this by going outside and playing or take a stroll around the block. The physical exercise will release endorphins making you happy, more prepped to work, and let the family or fur babies know they are loved.
8. Meal prep food
If you’re like me and already do this as a lifestyle, fantastic! If not, that's ok. Meal prepping doesn’t have to be a weeks worth of food or even all chicken and rice. But try deciding a few meals you want to eat for 2-3 days and cook them ahead of time. Having them already set aside and ready to go will cut down on the amount of time you need to do things during your lunch break and allow you to relax. Just like in the office, part of a lunch break is relaxing as well.
9. Stay off of social media and phone games
When you’re not in an office and being monitored, it’s much easier to find yourself checking Facebook, playing Candy Crush, or watching the latest news on the Coronavirus outbreak. But doing so will is a massive distraction and you will find yourself struggling to get back to the work tasks at hand. Save any non-work related screen time for breaks to maximize productivity.
10. When you clock out/log off, stay clocked out
This is an extremely simple thing to fall victim to. Heck, I find myself checking work emails late at night as well. But for your sanity and overall productivity, work only while your on the clock and save off the clock activities for off the clock. This separation will help you adapt to working from home much quicker.
11. Have a whiteboard or running list of tasks to complete
Finally, have a place you keep track of tasks. If your company already uses an online version to track tasks, this will make life much easier. Granted physically writing things down and seeing them in your work space can help keep you focused. Being at home there are many more distractions than the office. So what I like to do is go old school. Have a whiteboard or sticky notes to keep track of the most important tasks. Once completed cross them off, this part is extremely satisfying as well!
Hopefully with these simple, yet effective, tips on conquering working from home will help you as much as they have helped our agency. From our work family to yours, we wish you the best of luck transitioning to working remotely and keep the best spirits that this global pandemic will be over very soon.
Written by: April Standifer
*If you find that tasks are falling through the cracks or need that little bit of extra help with any marketing efforts through these difficult times, don’t hesitate to reach out to The RiCH.agency. We are offering the first 14 days free with month to month options.