Adjusting to Remote Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Last time on the Intelligent Office blog, we talked about how work-from-home is becoming the new normal for many employees. If you haven't yet found a routine that works for you and your team, these six tips will help you adapt.
1. Set up a productivity zone
When working from home, it’s all-too-easy to let your work and personal life merge. If you work from the couch, you may find yourself working late into the night while binging on your favorite Netflix show. Trying to finish a presentation from your kitchen makes it all-too-tempting to get distracted by dirty dishes.
The best way to mitigate this is to set up a workspace that’s solely for work. Ideally, you’ll have an office space with a door that closes. You can also set up simple barriers, like curtains, to make your workspace a zone of productivity.
2. Stick to a schedule
When working from an office, you have a predetermined schedule. You know exactly when it’s time to show up for work and when it’s acceptable to head home for the day.
At home, things are a bit trickier, especially if you have a flexible employer. This is why it’s so important to create (and honor) a daily schedule.
3. Set boundaries with family and friends
Boundaries are essential to a productive work-from-home experience. Once you have your schedule, be sure to share it with your family, friends and anyone else who might be tempted to interrupt your workday.
This tip can be a bit trickier to implement when trying to work from home with kids in the house, but it does provide a great opportunity to teach your children about the world of work.
4. Plan ahead for distractions
There will always be distractions and issues that pop up throughout the day. That doesn’t mean you can’t plan around them, though. You just need to assess your habits to successfully plan ahead.
For example, if a comfortable couch tempts you to take a nap each afternoon, think of ways to alter your environment and behavior. You might cover the couch with decorative throw pillows, or “ban” yourself from going into the living room after lunch.
5. Establish a routine
Help your brain get into work mode with a daily routine.
For some people, this means taking a shower and getting dressed each day. Others like to take scheduled lunch breaks.
6. Focus on the positive aspects of remote work
Working from home can be incredibly difficult and stressful for some people. From a psychological perspective, this can take a toll on your mental health.
If remote work makes you feel isolated or stressed, try to focus on the positives. Ask yourself, “What do I most appreciate about this arrangement?”
It might be something big, like the ability to spend more quality time with your family. Or, maybe you feel gratitude for the little things, like listening to your favorite music without headphones. If you really dislike the work-from-home setup, focus on the fact that you’ll be able to return to the office someday in the future.