Here are tips for those who don’t regularly work from home:
Prepare and Get Job-Comfortable
Get ready for work every morning like you are going to physically go into work. Dress up, do your hair — whatever you’d normally do. This puts you in a professional mindset. Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job and leave when you’re off the clock — that means get off the couch, and definitely out of bed.
Set Ground Rules With Others
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work. Children need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Additionally, just because you’re home and can let service people into the house or take care of pets doesn’t mean other family members should assume you will always do it. If that’s how you choose to divide up the domestic labor, that’s fine, but if you simply take it all on by default because you’re home, you may feel taken advantage of, and your productivity may suffer.
What About The Kids?
If you are working from home with kids in tow, you’ll need to make a plan for education and entertainment. Stock up on books and puzzles. Also, it’s OK to use streaming services (here are good recommendations for kid-appropriate content).
Repurpose Your Commute
A major perk of working from home is ditching the commute. Use this time in the morning for a workout, self-renewal, or family time.
Create Lists And Plan Your Day
Every morning, create a list of what you will deliver by the end of the day. If it’s helpful, scribble these down the night before so you can dive straight into work in the morning. If you don’t have a physical notepad handy, use the “Google Keep” in G Suite. Keep offers a variety of tools for taking notes, including text, lists, images, and audio.
Stay Off Social Media
Social media is designed to make it easy for you to open and browse quickly. To counteract your social networks’ ease of use during work hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts or log out of every account. You might even consider working primarily in a private or an incognito browser window. This ensures you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search you conduct doesn’t autocomplete the word you’re typing.
We don’t talk on the phone as much these days, and if working from home requires phone calls in place of your regular face-to-face meetings, then warm up first. Make a couple of less-important calls, or at least talk out loud for a minute before making the most-important calls. We call it, “getting the marbles out of your mouth”.
Show Your Face
When possible, use video over the standard conference call to help create more interactions and avoid loneliness. Checkout video-conferencing resources such as Zoom, BlueJeans, Skype, or Lifesize. For those unexpectedly working from home who are also trying to reduce face-to-face contact, set up a video call with your colleagues or manager once a week to check in.
Bring The Outdoors In
If you do not have any greens in your designated work from home location, consider adding some indoor plants to create a more inviting and creative space. Plus, they make your home’s air healthier!
Don’t get stuck at your computer for long lengths of time – schedule breaks. Walk around the house, or around the block – get some fresh air!
Listen to Music That Inspires
During the week, music is the soundtrack to your career (cheesy, but admit it, it’s true). And at work, the best playlists are diverse playlists — you can listen to music that matches the energy of the project you’re working on. Video game soundtracks are excellent at this. In the game itself, this lyric-free music is designed to help you focus; it only makes sense that it would help you focus on your work as well.
Stay Out of The Kitchen
When you’re in your own home, it can be tempting to spend time preparing a really nice breakfast and lunch for yourself, chopping and cooking included. Don’t use precious minutes making your food the day of work — cook it the night before. And don’t let the virus be a reason why you add 10-15 pounds!