So, you now need to work from home! But where do you begin with this transition?
Although remote working has been on the rise over the past few years, it’s not yet the “norm” for most working professionals. In the midst of a global pandemic, however, it’s important to remain nimble and adaptable in order to keep businesses moving forward.
If you’re feeling uneasy about this transition to a home office, you’re not alone. Here are five tips to ease you into your new working environment.
1. Have a Dedicated Working Space
Whether this is a separate office room, a small desk in your living room, or even a designated chair at your kitchen table, carve out a dedicated working space.
Make sure you have easy access to outlets, enough room to set up a dual monitor (if needed), and make sure the supplies you use daily are handy.
Your space should be comfortable, but not too comfortable — for example, don’t just lay in your bed with your laptop all day. It’s not conducive to productivity.
Take advantage of having some flexibility in your working environment: listen to the music you like, diffuse essential oils, set the heat/air-conditioning to your level of comfort, etc.
2. Get Dressed
It’s critical to have a routine while working from home, and it should be similar to the routine you have when commuting to an office. Set an alarm to wake up early enough for a morning routine or self-care. Shower. Get dressed.
Sure, you can wear yoga pants (why not reap some of the benefits from working from home, right?), but you should still look clean and presentable enough for video calls and meetings. Successful remote workers don’t use being at home as an excuse to be sloppy.
When working remotely, you don’t have the luxury of walking up to a coworker’s desk to chat or for a quick question. Don’t be afraid to utilize other avenues of connection.
With technology, there’s no reason for any remote worker to be an island, so make sure you use email, Zoom, G-chat, text, LinkedIn messages … or pick up the phone and call!
4. Take Breaks
Breaks at home are just as critical as breaks at the office. Even more so, if you’re feeling isolated and need to connect with people in person. Step away from your computer when you need to.
Take a walk around the block (staying at least six feet away from others) or even up and down your stairs if you have them. Go refill your glass. FaceTime your mom. Call your best friend. And don’t beat yourself up for needing more breaks than you normally do right now.
5. Stock Your Kitchen
One common fear of working from home is being in close proximity to the kitchen. That’s why it’s important to keep the kitchen stocked with healthy food and drink options that make you feel good.
Stay organized with meal prepping breakfasts and lunches that are easy to grab and eat quickly. Keep a list handy for healthy takeout and delivery options.
Remember, going from an office building to a home office is a big change. Give yourself grace while you adjust to your new routine.
Reach out to friends or colleagues who have experience with working remotely to learn what works for them, and what doesn’t. It’s going to take a little more discipline, and a little more effort with communication, but it’s not impossible — and you’re not alone!
Our safety committee also recently put out a great resource with additional tips to ensure you’re working safely and staying healthy at home. Check it out here.