With the COVID-19 pandemic drastically impacting our lives, many professionals are now transitioning from the office to remote work. While it may seem like a time of reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle and stressors of the office, it’s good to continue a routine still to stay as productive AND sane as possible during this time.
In my six years of working remotely, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that have helped me stay productive and create balance. Here are some that may work for you:
Set up a workspace in your home.
Working from home may seem like a dream for some who’ve yearned to leave the office politics behind and cut costs on travel time and lunches out with co-workers that add up quickly. But working where you live, seeing the same four walls day in and day out can become dull rather quickly. Create a workspace inside your home that you use for work only. Enter that area as if you are actually going to work and leave it when work is done. It’s important to still maintain separation and balance from work during this time.
Keep your work hours the same.
This isn’t the time to sleep in or spend hours surfing the internet doing any and everything but work. You will eventually be going back to the office, and it’s much easier to stay in the work routine you already have established rather than having to readjust when you physically return to the office. Get out of bed, freshen up and start the day at the same time, every day in your workspace. Take a lunch break like you would in the office and cut off work at the same time.
Stay in constant communication.
Now more than ever, your peers, managers, staff, clients, etc., need to know you are present. This is a difficult time for them as well and it’s vital to establish some normalcy, not just for yourself but for those that work with you. Stay on top of emails and phone calls. Reach out to co-workers that you normally talk to, even if there isn’t a meeting on the agenda. And if you have regular meetings scheduled, continue them virtually at the same time. Maximize the use of video conferencing tools like Skype, Zoom and Doodle to stay in touch.
Know when to cut work off.
It’s easy to check emails, respond to calls and work at all hours of the night when you don’t have to check-in at the office. But if you aren’t up at 3 AM responding to emails normally, don’t start doing it now. Set boundaries for your work hours as you normally would when you leave the office for the day.
Use this time to reflect, grow and innovate.
You are in a great position to be still able to work. With the changes in the work landscape, use this time to continue to think of your company’s needs and create a niche in your role that builds value. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far and how you can evolve and grow professionally—this a trying time, but one that can bring about some of the greatest