12 Tips for Working From Home (WFH)
The world is changing! Everyone is on high alert, events are cancelled, and companies are asking their employees to work remotely for the first time. Having work and home in the same space can be a challenge, often one bleeds into the other – your kids are running around and need attention because schools are closed, or you are so focused you forget to eat and you work long past the time you would normally clock out. Here are some helpful tips on how to stay productive while working in your personal space.
1. Have a dedicated work space.
Ideally, you have carved out a room in your home as an office. If that’s not possible, find an area in your home you will be able to sit down and focus without distractions. Use a chair with back support (your older self will thank you) and communicate with others in your home that while you are in that space, you are not to be disturbed.
2. Your work space should not be your bedroom.
Studies have shown that using your bedroom only for sleeping improves sleep quality and therefor is beneficial for overall health. Staying healthy right now is the whole point, right?
3. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Your schedule will likely need to change. If you are home with your family, you may need to take more breaks than normal and stretch your day out farther than the normal eight-to-five workday. Not to mention, you might be tempted to start knocking out home projects because you are at home. Create a schedule for breaks/lunch and stick to it. Communicate that schedule with those in your home so you can stay on track.
4. Don’t wake up five minutes before your workday starts.
Yes, you don’t have to worry about that normal morning commute, but we all need time to get into a head space where we can work effectively. Make sure you are setting your alarm clock early enough to fit your morning routine in. Make some coffee, eat a balanced breakfast, maybe even go for a run outside since gyms are closed.
5. Don’t work in your pajamas.
It’s extremely tempting to roll out of bed and turn on the computer to start your workday but think twice about it. You never know when you are going to be put on a video chat. You don’t need to wear a full suit and tie but take a shower and be presentable. On that same note, wear shoes. Yes, no one will see them, but the more you separate “this is the time that I am working productively” and your home life, the more effective you will be. And no one likes having cold feet.
6. Eat right.
It might not be easy, restaurants are closed, the grocery store has been picked over, and all you have in your cabinet is pop-tarts and hot sauce. Do your best to plan ahead – meal planning on the weekend is an excellent way to make sure you and your family will have enough food to get by week to week and save you time during the day. If that doesn’t work for you, consider a meal delivery service like Daily Harvest to keep you fed. If you are hungry, you can’t focus properly on your work, so eat well and stay healthy.
7. Make some noise.
If you normally work in a busy office, working from home might be a little too quiet to focus. Try leaving the tv on in a different room or listening to music on a low volume (lots of people love LoFi to work to). You can also find tons of white noise clips on YouTube like fans, airplanes, rain, and campfires. Just be mindful of other people working in your home too.
8. Keep things quiet for conference calls and video calls.
Communicate with the people that you live with if you have an important call and need to not be disrupted.
9. Invest in a good headset or pair of headphones for calls.
Conference rooms are generally designed to minimize audio feedback, but most homes are not. Wireless headsets that work with business phone systems like this one, which has a noise cancelling microphone and ambient-noise-reducing speakers, make a huge difference. There are many cheaper ones for sale online, but trust us, a good headset is an investment you won’t regret. Pro-tip: Mute your microphone during conference calls when you are not speaking to prevent from accidentally interrupting the discussion.
10. Don’t start happy hour early because no one is watching.
This one is a bit of a no brainer, but it happens. Drinking while on the clock is a bad idea. Don’t do it.
11. Sign out of work accounts at the end of the day.
When you are done working for the day, sign out of work-related accounts and turn off notifications, especially if you are using personal devices. Often, working from home can lead to overworking, so compartmentalizing work is important.
12. Take a walk.
Go outside! Social distancing does not mean never leaving your home. Even a few minutes pulling weeds or walking around the block can bring back some sanity.
COVID-19 is changing the way all of us operate. Check out this article about tools can be used to remote. If your business is in need of solutions to work remotely, please contact us for more information.