Even if you’ve done it before, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world: It’s probably sudden. It might be for an extended period of time (rather than a day here and there) and you’re not at all sure how long it’ll last. Your whole company is involved.
These tips will help you make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done, and at maintaining your mental well-being:
It might seem like a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one. It’s tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, but doing so will make you much slower to start and less productive overall.
Designate a Workspace or Home Office
If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home.
Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours
Just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, you should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours.
Build Transitions Into (and Out of) Work
Your morning commute not only gets you to work—from one physical location to another—but it also gives your brain time to prepare for work. Just because you’re not traveling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carve out equivalent routines to help you ease into your workday.
Don’t Get Too Sucked in by the News—or Anything Else
Distraction is one of the big challenges facing people who work from home—especially people who aren’t used to it. Right now, one of the biggest distractions is the news. It’s good to stay informed, of course, but it’s also easy to scroll yourself into an anxious mess.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If you don’t usually work from home, chances are there will be some bumps in the road if you have to suddenly go fully remote. The key to steering through these bumps is communication—especially with your manager and direct reports.
Don’t Forget to Socialize
When the whole office suddenly starts working from home, you’re cutting off a lot of the casual social interactions you’re used to having throughout the day that help you feel less lonely and break up the monotony of work.
If you’d usually comment to a co-worker about a specific topic, reach out. These little interactions go a long way.