Hope everyone reading this is staying safe and healthy out there. I moved away from any city with a Motus office in August, and have been telecommuting, or working remotely, in Philly since. With the experience of those months, and the several years of intermittently working from home, I just wanted to share some tips on how I work from home through the day, while being productive and keeping my sanity. Hopefully you find them helpful!
This is the first rule, and with good reason. It’s important to keep a work-life balance. This is especially critical because you’re home and can so easily access the computer. So, make this your first rule. Maybe you think you could get ahead on somethings, or maybe you feel like you’ll fall behind if you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Don’t go near your laptop until 9amEST/8amCST and don’t touch it after 6pmEST/5pmCST!
There are plenty of benefits to having a routine. That’s especially true when you’re stuck in your home. And the mornings are essential when it comes to a successful routine. I always recommend getting dressed as if you were coming to work, putting on your make-up, doing your hair, etc. Stick with the same routine you had when you were going into the office!
Take a break in the morning, your lunch and a break in the afternoon. Put them in your calendar and make sure you keep them! 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick. It’s important for your mind to step away throughout the day and take a moment to yourself. You can even use one of the breaks to schedule a little team social moment via a video conferencing tool like Zoom, Highfive or GotoMeeting. See each other’s faces. Talk about your day!
No matter how you spend it, make sure you take your entire break! Don’t cut yourself short just because you are working from home.
The hardest part about working from home is missing out on social collaboration. Whether you’re used to lively brainstorming sessions, team trivia at the bar after work or going out together to get lunch, there’s a lot of face to face time that’s no longer possible. So, give the next best thing a go! Schedule video chat meet ups with each other. Communicate with each other and take whatever opportunities to see their faces throughout the day. It’s important, especially when it comes to your mental clarity.
I put a 15-minute social Highfive on my calendar for our team. We meet for a short time and just talk. Nothing about work, but maybe cooking, washing your hands videos, really anything to give our minds a break.
Whether you’re starting to feel a little stir crazy or like you’re one with the couch, getting up and moving around can work wonders. You might not be running any marathons in your home, but there are plenty of resources for great physical work outs while indoors. Many gyms and trainers are offering online live classes that you can take and apps like Prezence are giving away free memberships for a period of time.
And that’s what I’ve got. Stick to your work hours, stay in that routine, give yourself breaks and be social! You’re probably doing some of those right now. And that’s great. Just remember, the sooner you set a work from home rhythm, the easier it will be going forward. The more productive that initial rhythm is, the easier it will be to avoid bad habits. These might not work for everyone, so play with them and see how you can make them work for you. But most importantly, stay safe everyone!
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