This time is stressful for everyone – things are changing at a rapid pace, including your job. At EMILY, we understand the importance of making sure that the job gets done, even if it is from home. In light of all that’s going on with COVID-19, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you make the most of your at-home work experience:
1. Create a Morning Routine
By creating a morning routine, you are forming new habits that will help make working from home feel like the new normal. Get up, make coffee, get dressed, make breakfast. Maybe even take some time to do a morning workout. Whatever your morning routine may be, make sure that you are maximizing your time and energy. Consistency is key during unsure times like these.
2. Designate a Workspace
Don’t work from your bed or another area that you associate with relaxation. Make sure to designate a space within your home that will be used for work. The kitchen table or countertop bar could be great spaces if you don’t have a home office. Have an extra room in your home unused? Turn it into a temporary office. By having a space that is specifically used for work, you are helping your brain make clearer associations between work and play.
3. Communicate and Socialize
Communication is so important within an office setting. Small talk between coworkers is essential to productivity and stimulation. Make sure to check in with your coworkers throughout your workday on platforms like Zoom, or even text or call. Not only is small talk important but learning to work as a team from home can be tricky. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your colleagues about what is expected of you during this time.
4. Set Ground Rules for those in your space
If you live with other people – roommates, significant others, children, etc. – develop a set of rules for interactions while you’re working. These can be as strict or relaxed as you'd like, but be sure that everyone around you knows what you expect of them as “coworkers” while you’re on the clock. Setting ground rules can decrease tension within the home, make a better work environment, and increase productivity.
5. Take your lunch break
Although it may seem odd to take a “lunch break” in your own home, make sure you take the full time you would if you were at the office. The time during your lunch hour is essential to decompressing your mind, fueling your body, and preparing your brain for the rest of the day. With so many changes happening, work can be especially stressful. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time, too. Take your break and take a breather.
6. Create To-Do lists each day
Everyone can stand to be more organized. When working from home things are sure to slip your mind occasionally. Each morning you should work a time into your routine to update your to-do lists. Task-based activity is especially productive for an at-home work structure. It’s a satisfying feeling to mark something off your list and give yourself a high five for it.
7. Take Stretch Breaks
It may seem minor but when you begin to feel a little tired while sitting at your designated workspace, take a stretch break. When you stand up and stretch for around 5 minutes, you are increasing blood flow, loosening muscles, and giving your brain time to reboot. Taking short breathers can increase your productivity and keep you from feeling cooped up in your office space.
8. Set Scheduled Hours
A schedule is a key component to maintaining normalcy at home. Work your set number of hours to create a normal “work” day. Get creative with your scheduling, as well. Figure out when your most productive times of day are and take advantage of them. Work during the hours you feel most motivated and productive - that way you can ensure you’ve had a successful day at work and can do anything you’d like during your “off” hours without worry.