This year, 3.4 percent of US workers are working remotely. But with COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place order, more people will be working from home over the next little while. For those used to working in the office, adjustment can be hard. Here are our best tips for working remotely from home effectively:
#1: Schedule Work AND Breaks
Choose a schedule that works with your home life and stick to it. When you work from home, it can be tempting to either sleep in and skimp on your duties or turn into a workaholic with no boundaries. Sticking to regular work hours helps you get everything done and also keep a healthy work–life balance, especially when you schedule breaks.
#2: Create a Dedicated Office Space and Get Everyone on the Same Page
Whether or not you have an official office in your home, now is the time to create a dedicated office space. It can be at the kitchen table, in a nook in the living room, or wherever works best. Whatever you choose, make it clean, make it comfortable, and own it as your office space. Once you’ve set aside a place for work, make sure everyone in your home knows the times you’re working and when you need things to be quiet.
#3: Be Extra Nice to Your Coworkers
Have you ever received a text from someone that sounded uncharacteristically curt? Sometimes, chat messages can come across differently than we intend them. Now is the time to overcommunicate to make sure everyone is on the same page. Help your coworkers understand your positive intentions, and give them the benefit of the doubt if their messages don’t come across as nicely as their face-to-face communication did.
#4: Prep Meals and Snacks in Advance
When your fridge is right there, meal prep can take a back seat. Don’t let it! When you’re on your breaks, you want to be able to relax, not spend the whole time throwing a meal together. Take the time to prepare meals and snacks in advance.
It can be hard to really feel like you’re working when you’re working from home. Try scheduling work and breaks, creating dedicated office space, being extra nice to your coworkers, and preparing meals and snacks in advance. These four simple tips for working from home can make the road ahead much easier.