There is a significant surge in people working from home right now because of efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus.
While it can be anxiety-producing to think about the unknown, there are some advantages of working from home, for people looking for the silver lining. For example, fewer people commuting means a lower risk of accidents on the roadways and less pollution.
If you are someone who is able to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak, it can be challenging if you’re not used to it, but the following are some ways to make it work for you and be as productive as possible.
Get Dressed As You Normally Would
It sounds strange, but seasoned work-at-home veterans will likely tell you this tip works—in the morning before you start working, get dressed and ready just like you would if you were going to drive into the office.
Even if you don’t get dressed as if you were getting to work, just changing out of your pajamas can help you get in the right mindset.
When you’re wearing regular clothes, it’s going to help you feel more productive and help you shift your focus.
During the time you’re working from home, you can start to develop other daily routines that mimic what you would do if you were going into the office as well, such as having lunch at a set time. Give yourself a time when you stop working at the end of the day as well.
Create a Designated Space
If you don’t usually work from home, you might want to create a workspace. You don’t need an entire room if you don’t have one available.
You do need to set up a space that feels somewhat separate from your living areas, though.
Even if it’s just a small table in the corner of your apartment, let this be a space you only use for work.
Try to get yourself a comfortable chair if you can, and this area should be a place you can walk away from at the end of the day when you’re finished working so that you can separate your work-life from the rest of your life.
Keep Up with Coworkers
It can be very isolating to work from home and be alone, especially if it’s not something you’re used to. Try and stay and touch with your coworkers so that you feel less alone and also so that you stay in the loop with what’s going on at work.
If it makes sense, try to have some video chats every once and a while. That can help you stay on track and connected to your company culture.
Be in touch with your boss during this time, so you know what’s expected of you as well.
If you work from home, you’re going to be sitting all day and probably pretty sedentary—perhaps even more so than you would be if you were in your office.
Try to find time for physical activity right now, which can help you stay mentally sharper.
There are many online workouts you can do, and a lot of local gyms and fitness studios are also live streaming some of their classes while they’re closed.
If You’re a Parent, Go Easy on Yourself
If you’re a parent and you’re working from home while your kids are simultaneously out of school, it can be extremely stressful. Kids are going to want your attention, and you aren’t going to be able to.
While other parents on social media might be talking about the homeschooling they’re doing at this time, if you’re working full-time you can’t do that.
Go easy on yourself. There are great educational resources available on YouTube, interactive museum tours, and many other things that you can let your kids use while you’re working.
It’s a tough time, and you don’t have to be a super parent. Screens are okay, and sometimes difficult times call for a little extra screen time.
Once you develop a routine for yourself and get into the swing of things, you might find that you really enjoy working from home, although you might prefer to be doing it under better circumstances. It’s tough, but plan out your day, set a schedule, give yourself a space to work and don’t think you have to do it all.
We’re all doing the best we can right now.