With the COVID-19 virus causing concerns around the world these days, a lot of employees are being asked to work from home.
For some this is a new situation and may sound like a nice and cozy option. Not having to commute to work and possibly do work from the couch wearing pajamas all day long might sound quite nice!
Having almost a decade experience in working from home on various projects, as a project manager, building a startup and working in marketing I have learned a few things ( sometimes the hard way;) that I want to share with you.
If you are new to working from home, this might help you keep your spirit up in the next few weeks and possibly make it a nice change from what you are used to. This is what I encourage you to have in mind:
- When you wake up, take some time to get ready for the day. Shower, get dressed, have a cup of coffee and some breakfast. Do all this before you start thinking about work related issues. This can be tricky sometimes, when you are tired and you can sleep a bit longer. But believe me, this sets the tone for the day, and will result in better work and nicer attitude towards your day.
- When you sit down, organise the day ahead of you. Distractions like laundry, tidying up and all kinds of weird things you never really want to do, all of a sudden become appealing. This is important to ignore from day one. You have plenty of time to do your laundry when your day finishes. If you struggle starting a task or a project, inform a colleague, talk to someone about it and see what happens. Discussions are always good.
- Make sure you have a designated space to do your work. If you have kids it's great that this space can be closed off. Best is if you don't need to move your computer around. Your work environment needs to be comfortable. If you are used to working with two monitors, try to organise that for home as well. Make sure your chair is comfortable and your posture, so you don’t end up with sore muscles and pains at the end of the day.
- If you can talk to your colleagues via Skype, Google Hangouts, Slack or any other way, do it. Just a short talk can make such a difference in how your day ends.
- Take breaks. Remember to eat. Stay hydrated. Sounds obvious, but when there is no one to have lunch with, no one that stops by your desk and asks you how your weekend was, this can be a struggle! Stand up, get fresh air, eat healthy and remember to drink water.
- When working from home, it can be hard to distinguish between being at home and being at work. Try to stick to the hours you're supposed to work. You don’t need to spend your evenings replying to emails just because your computer is there. They will be there in the morning and you need to have a life and a work balance to be able to work from home.
Last but not least, stay safe and remember to wash your hands!