The world’s current state has forced many of us to change the way we work. To keep employees, families, and communities healthy, more and more companies are working from home.
So to try and help, we’ve gathered a list of tips, advice, and best practices that can make the transition to work from home as seamless as possible and hopefully, help you get through this transition with confidence and optimism.
1. Continue your morning routine.
With no commute time, it can be tempting to sleep in or work in your pyjamas. But your daily routine sets the tone for your workday – especially when you haven’t left the house. Try to continue your same morning routine even though you’re not heading into the office.
2. Set a daily schedule – including breaks.
Set a daily schedule for your workday (and stick to it) to stay motivated and productive while you work from home.
Block off your day into chunks of time, so you can be focused on your work – and don’t forget to add in breaks, too. It may take a while to work out the right schedule for you.
3. Organise a designated place to work.
Set up a designated space to serve as your home ‘office’ whilst you’re working from home. Try to make your at-home work area mirror your office area as closely as possible. It will help you get in the groove easily and feel more comfortable with the change.
Here are a few tips when selecting your new work space:
- WiFi – consider the location of your router in your home. You may need your desk to be nearby for faster internet speed.Test your WiFi speed here.
- Background – You may be doing a lot of video calls. Make sure the background of your work space isn’t too distracting. Adjust your camera accordingly.
- Door – if available, choose a work space with a door. If you have partners, children, roommates, or co-workers at home, closing the door is a great “do not disturb” signal if you’re on an important call.
4. Leave work at work
It’s hard to separate work and home. But when you’re when you are working from home, it’s essential to keep a healthy work/life balance. Set boundaries for yourself, so you can always leave work at “work.”
5. Schedule daily calls with your team or co-workers
If you work as part of a team, schedule daily conference calls to stay connected. These could take place every morning (usually after people get to work), and take place at the same time each day.
During these calls, each team member can share:
- What they did yesterday: Summarise what they worked on and accomplished.
- What they will do today: What are their top tasks for the rest of the workday?
- What potential roadblocks might prevent success: If there is anything preventing work from getting done, bring it up so it can get resolved.
6. Stay connected with video
Working remotely can feel isolating, but video can help. Schedule video calls for regularly scheduled meetings. Or jump on a video call to have lunch with a co-worker. Getting to see your co-workers and talk to them ‘virtually in person’ adds some normality back into your workday.
7. Make sure you move!
When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to move from your desk to the couch. But it’s important to move your body. Exercise is a mood booster and it reduces stress and anxiety.
Schedule time for some physical activity into your day to get your blood pumping & clear your mind.
8. Parents – be flexible
If you are a parent with children at home, here are a few tips to get through the day (and still get some work done). Take advantage of the fringe hours. Focus on work when your children are sleeping or napping.
If you have a partner, try to divide the day between the two of you. One parent can have focused work time, while the other is on child duty.
Depending on the ages of your children, you can plan activities to keep them busy during the day. Create a schedule for them. They are used to structured days, and a daily schedule will help the transition feel more familiar to them, too.
Friendly reminder: now is not the time to feel guilty about screen time. Give yourself a break, and know your children are probably going to get grumpy, too.
9. Enjoy the outdoors
Get outside! Working from home doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the house. Walk around the block. Go for a run. Take your dog out for a walk.
If you are around other people, continue to practice social distancing, which on the current advice from the Government means at least 2 metres apart and in no large than groups of two.
10. Take time for professional development
Many conferences and events have been postponed or cancelled, but there are still plenty of opportunities for professional development from home. Sign up for an online certification or course. Read a book. Now is the time to learn something new.
11. Touch base with your co-workers
Most importantly, remember to check in with your co-workers during the day.
Whether it’s a two-minute chat or a quick message of encouragement, make sure you connect with them.
12. Celebrate successes – big & small
In times of uncertainty, we can take all the positivity we can get. Be mindful to celebrate success with your co-workers – big and small. Share them in IM, email, and video calls. Share them often.
Here are a few final words of encouragement:
If you feel overwhelmed, find something you can do to help someone else.
Have a spirit and mind of flexibility. Approach each day with the willingness to accept something new or unexpected.
Prioritise gratitude and positivity.
The current state of the world has changed the way many of us work. Working from home is now the new normal. Take it one day at a time, and remember that we’re all in this together.
*Content has been adapted from a CoSchedule blog by Whitney Deterding