Tips for Staying Productive and Sane When Working From Home
Whether you were already working from home (like me) or are just starting to work remotely because of the coronavirus, chances are you are trying to navigate a new sense of normal. Working from home can present unique challenges when you add spouses, kids, or pets in the mix; on top of the normal challenges of digital communication.
We’ve put together our best tips and advice to help you make the most of working from home, and stay productive and sane in the process.
Tip #1: Start Your Day Off Right
Since you don’t need to go anywhere, you may be tempted to roll right out of bed and plop down in front of your computer. Believe me when I say, don’t do this! I’ve found that taking time at the beginning of each day to do something for myself helps start my day off right. This could be going on a walk with your dog first thing, making a hearty breakfast, working out, meditating… you name it. Find what works for you to settle into your day before you start work.
Tip #2: Get Dressed
This one is simple but effective. Changing out of your pj’s will signal to your brain that you are transitioning from “home mode” into “work mode”. What you change into is up to you - I’m definitely a yoga pants and t-shirt girl, but you can put on jeans or a suit if that helps you feel more productive!
Tip # 3: Create a Routine
When your home life and work-life all live under one roof, creating a routine can help provide distinction between the different aspects of your day. Decide what hours you want to work and do your best to stick to them. Build-in time for meals and breaks (see below) to create a structure to your day that is productive and sustainable.
Tip #4: Build in Time for Breaks
When I first started working from home I found myself sitting in front of my screen for hours on end without taking breaks to move around, drink water, or eat. Without the addition of coworkers or office noise to distract you, it’s easy to get sucked into the task at hand.
But taking breaks isn’t only good for your physical and mental wellbeing, it has been shown to boost productivity. Get up to move around every hour, make time for a lunch break, and get outside for fresh air at least once during the day.
Tip #5: Use Technology to Stay Connected
If you aren’t used to working remotely, it can take time to adjust to communicating digitally. Luckily, there are so many great technology resources out there made to help you stay connected and productive with your teammates.
Leverage Zoom to replace in-person meetings - having that face to face to touchpoint is huge to stay connected. Slack, Skype, and Teams are also great ways to chat instantly with your teammates. You can also just hop on the phone to talk things through! Try each of these out to see what works best for you and your coworkers.
Tip #6: Manage Expectations With Kids
Perhaps the most challenging aspect some of you are facing is working from home as a parent of small children. Some advice from Halcon’s Business Development Manager Shantell is: “The key is to manage their expectation of how the day will go, take more breaks than normal, be flexible when possible, and be a good role model as an employee and as a parent. Patience is 100% necessary!”
If they are old enough, communicate with your kiddos about how long you will be working and when you can take a break. Set up activities or crafts that they can do on their own for a period of time. You can also create a “work station” for them with crayons, paper, a desk, and some tape so they can do their “work” alongside you. Another tip is to provide accessible snacks, drinks, etc. if needed to avoid interruptions.
The most important thing to remember is that working from home right now is not going to be the same as working in an office. Be patient with yourself, try new strategies to see what works for you, and focus on taking each day as it comes!