Many of us have unexpectedly become long-term remote workers. Make the very most of your new arrangement with these helpful tips:
Set the Stage
Take some time to consider potential workspaces in your home. While you may already have an area set aside, it’s not too late to switch things up.
Where can you find the best place for privacy with some natural light and a neutral background for video calls? Don’t rule out a quiet spot in a sunny hallway, a corner in your bedroom or even a breakfast nook.
Once your office location is decided, make it comfortable! Find a supportive chair, a small lamp and add a bit of cheerfulness with a framed picture, candle or flowers. The little things can make a great deal of difference!
Maintain a Routine
As creatures of habit, a routine is essential in creating both comfort and efficiency.
Designate your working hours and stick to them—don’t pick up your phone, even to send a quick email after hours. As we’ve welcomed our workspace into our homes, we need to learn to draw a line between personal time and work time.
For those with children at home, teaching a routine to them early on, and sticking to it, is important. Develop a system for your family that makes the most sense to you. Perhaps a posted schedule on the refrigerator with reading time, outside time and electronics time works best. Or consider a shared meeting calendar between spouses—or the whole family, depending on the children’s ages.
One of the most awkward things in transitioning from the office to working from home is setting boundaries with family. Our spouses and children may not understand just how demanding our jobs are or what time of the day is best for an interruption.
Have an honest conversation with any adults in the house about your preferences to avoid frustration.
For children, a closed door can help signify focused work time when you shouldn’t be interrupted. Or setting expectations throughout the day can also be a great reminder for little ones: “Mommy is going to be on a video call now. You may come in quietly, but no talking, please.”
Without the customary chit chat of the office environment or the regular walks to the kitchen for snacks, water or coffee we tend to spend more time glued to the screen when working in our own homes.
Set a reminder to get up and walk around for a few minutes each hour. This will greatly reduce eye strain as well as neck and shoulder pain.
So, take in those blooming flowers outside, enjoy a five-minute yoga session or give Rex a tummy rub now and then.
Working remotely can be quite an adjustment when it comes to communication. Some of us just do better with face-to-face conversations. If you feel something has been miscommunicated or you can save a chunk of time by hashing it out verbally, reach out with a video call.
We often learn so much through body language, tone and a quick conversation as opposed to a lengthy email chain. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
May your next few weeks of remote work be even more efficient and prosperous with these tips in mind!