More people than ever have transitioned to working from home while trying to curb the spread of COVID-19. This is quite the adjustment if you’re used to being in the office 8+ hours out of the day. It creates new challenges you and your coworkers haven’t faced before.
To soothe this transition, we’ve put together some tips to increase your success and reduce your stress during this uncertain time.
Although it’s tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, doing so can reduce your productivity level. Staying in your pajamas will keep your head in “relax mode” when it’s time to be in work mode. You don’t have to get as dressed up as you would to go into the office, but changing into something nicer will jumpstart your morning.
This also applies to the other steps of getting ready, like, showering, brushing your hair, putting on a little bit of makeup, etc. Taking care of yourself will also make you feel good about yourself which is important in any scenario.
Create a Home Office Space
It’s important to keep work separate from home, which can be especially challenging when you’re working at home. If you never disconnect from work, your productivity will likely decrease and so will your relaxation.
If you do not have the space to designate an entire room as an office, do not fret. This area can be as small as a corner in your living or dining room. Add a comfortable chair and some decorations and give this area a purpose.
When your day is done, put all of your work items away and leave this area like you would leave your desk at the end of the day. If you’re using your personal laptop or computer, close all work-related tabs to finish your day. This will stop work from creeping into family or relaxation time.
It’s All About Communication
When in the office it’s easy to stop by your co-worker’s or manager’s desk to ask a quick question or get confirmation on something. Do not stop asking those quick questions because you’re not in the same building. Send them an email, give them a call, set up a meeting, or use whatever communication tool your company has chosen to use.
If anything, it’s important to contact each other more than before. Calling or having a virtual meeting will reduce any miscommunication making those two options the best.
Take Small Frequent Breaks
When in the office you’re likely taking more breaks than you realize. You’re getting a drink, going to lunch, going to the bathroom, having short chats with coworkers. Of course at home you’re still grabbing a drink or using the bathroom, but your kitchen and bathroom are probably much closer than the ones at work.
These breaks are so important for mental health and help you to focus. Stand up and stretch, take a short walk, whatever it is, just stop for a few minutes and let your brain recharge.
Plan Activities for the Kids
School and daycare is also out which can create more distractions while working from home. Plan out your children’s days with education and entertainment to keep them busy while you work.
Give them extra chores to do just to keep them active. Screen-time is OK, don’t feel bad for doing it, just try to make it educational. There are plenty of at-home games and activities your kids can do when they’re not doing schoolwork. Just find what peaks your children’s interest!
This is an adjustment for all of us, so don’t get down on yourself for being a little lost and not having it all figured out yet. We’ll all get used to this and we’ll all get through it together.