We are all currently going through uncharted territory. Even those of us who have worked remotely have never been through anything like this. Many cities are shutting down and asking people to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. This makes remote work a bit more challenging because it’s not just you but the whole family at home. This means you have kiddos running around, wanting to eat, play and are very active.
So how do we deal with this let’s call it an interesting situation? We have taken our own experience of remote work and adjusted a few things to help you deal with this time.
Create a Routine
Routine makes all the difference. From the way you start your day to how you organize your work and home life. Treat the day as a regular workday. What do you typically do when you wake up to get to work? If you used to get up and brush your teeth then keep up that routine. Don’t just start work in your pajamas and change into an outfit just as if you are heading out.
This will get you into the work mood a lot quicker and you will feel closer to a regular office day.
Just like the office you need your own spot to work. Find a space in the house that is a bit quieter (not everyone has an office and we know). This space can be the bedroom, the dining room or any other location you feel comfortable in.
Try to pick a room in the house that is typically quieter and make sure that you are comfortable sitting in it. Make sure you create an environment that is comfortable and avoid any back pain. Use a comfortable chair and have the laptop at the correct level for your hands.
Work normally doesn’t end and when you are working from home it seems to be even more than usual. You need to pace your day so create a schedule and follow it. If you put a snack at 11 then stop working and have a snack at 11. If it’s possible to schedule time to go outside for even a few minutes to enjoy the daylight (Do this only if you are in a space you are sure is safe, secure and virus-free).
Of course, being in close proximity to the kitchen gets very tempting so having a scheduled break will limit your trips because you will know when the snacks are coming up.
Meetings can take up your day if you don’t schedule them. This can be very counterproductive and a waste of time. You want to make sure you have enough time to get your work done as well as meet with people. Also, make sure that you have a meeting agenda and that the meeting doesn’t stray far from the topics at hand.
Limit the time for each meeting. You already know how long you should discuss specific topics so if the issue at hand needs an hour, schedule the meeting for an hour.
Relax and do your best
If you have kiddos running around while you are working, don’t stress about it. Let them play, they are having to deal with the changes as much as you are. If you are too worried about your colleagues hearing them, they are probably facing the same dilemma. Just mute your microphone often during the meeting and relax.
You are not in this alone, almost everyone else in the world is facing the same thing. All you can do is try your best as we all go through this uncharted territory. There is no wrong or right way to do things and you will figure out your own pace and way to manage your day.
Avoid feeling isolated
Working remotely can cause people to feel isolated, making it more important to routinely check in with your team, not only about their work product but also to see how they are doing. Loneliness can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Be aware of significant changes you may see in your team member’s personality or work product, because it may be a sign that a person is struggling.
Stay Connected with your IT Department
When you are working from home you’re bound to face a few technical challenges every once in a while. Whether it’s connectivity issues or software issue you need to know who your IT contacts are. Make sure you have the numbers to contact your IT department, so they can walk you through any of the issues you might encounter.
You know that hobby you have been putting off or didn’t have time for before? There is no better time to start than now. This could be creating a new craft, organizing your house, or even starting a 10,000 piece puzzle. Whatever your passion is it’s time to start exploring it.