With everything going on in the world right now – particularly because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – many employees are now having to work from home in order to make sure that business continues as well. For those who are not used to working remotely, the idea of trying to work from the comfort of your home can seem intimidating. “How am I supposed to be productive when I have access to Netflix?” “What about feeling isolated from my coworkers?” “How can I make sure that my boss gets everything he needs from me?”
Remote work doesn’t have to be the cause of worry, though. In fact, it can actually be a great thing, especially when you can stay in your PJs until noon! All you have to do is know how to make it work for you. I work from home three days a week and can give you a few ideas on how to make the most of working from home.
Complete To-Do List – One of the hardest things for me is making sure that I get both work & housework done when I’m working remotely. If you make to-do lists, make sure you include BOTH work & housework so you can help make sure nothing falls through the cracks. (Pro Tip: either a) compile a complete list of everything to be done and be willing to move things to the next day, or b) put no more than 8 items on one list — this helps reduce anxiety and prevent burnout)
Reliable Communication – Since you’re not in the office, you will need to talk with your boss and coworkers as often as possible so that way everyone can stay on the same page. This also means that you need make sure you have reliable tech at home in order to communicate, as well as get your work done.
Remote Support – Whether you are quarantined or simply work from home regularly, isolation can be daunting. Try to get in touch with others who work from home who you can use as a support system. This could be your coworkers who are also stuck at home or finding online communities (such as a Facebook group) for remote workers.
Work Style – Figure out the best way that you can get your work done, and then make it happen. Schedule time where you can work in silence, or have a radio playing quietly in the background if you need noise. Set up one lamp near your work station or have every light on in the room. Determine what helps you most and then do what you need to so that you can work to the best of your ability.
Productive Environment – Set up an area in your home where you are most likely to be productive. Some people, like me, have a desk placed in a quiet area where they can organize. I also sometimes use my garage to better get away from the noise of the husband and kids. Whatever I need that day to be productive, I figure it out and then do it.
Self-Care – This might be the most important thing when it comes to working remotely. When you work from home, you don’t get to clock out and leave because you’re already at home. Make sure you’re doing what’s needed to care for yourself, including logging off when you’re done for the day.