Working From Home Tips During Covid-19
I write this post in a state of disbelief. The entire world has been impacted by Covid-19 and the state of emergency that we are in seems like a scene from a movie. With the latest lockdown/ stay at home order says folks must stay home unless for essential needs only. All non-essential businesses have been shut down and many folks (if not currently unemployed due to the crisis) are working from home.
Working from home is something that we have all wished for but I think that this pandemic has shifted our perceptions a bit. The idea of working from home sounds peachy until you include other factors like- your kids also being home, your job being meeting heavy and human interaction being critical, being responsible for preparing most/all meals for the household, not being able to have social gatherings, etc. Something that once seemed like a dream is now a reality that is harder than most of us could have ever imagined.
As someone who has worked remotely enough to know the do’s and don’ts, I wanted to share some tips that I hope can be helpful on your journey.
DO YOUR ROUTINE AS IF YOU WERE LEAVING THE HOUSE: This includes bathing, getting dressed and combing your hair. If you have conference calls, the expectation is that you won’t be in pajamas with your boss looking unkept or like you don’t care. People are judge-y af so don’t think it stops now. This is subjective but psychologically your brain is used to this habit being aligned with a certain level of productivity so why confuse it? Just put in a little effort
LOCATE A SPOT TO SET UP SHOP FOR WORK EXCLUSIVELY: This is still your home and you want to be able to separate where you work from where you will find peace and relaxation. Just like work, you want a space to do that specifically.
TAKE A LUNCH AND BREAKS WHERE APPROPRIATE: We all need to eat so make sure you prepare / think about meals in advance to avoid wasting time. Stand and walk around every 30 minutes for at least 2 minutes. * i will be doing 15 jumping jacks every hour to keep my body and brain moving.*Your body isn’t used to not moving around all day so set a timer on your phone to remind you.
SAY NO TO RANDOM GUEST DRIVE-BYS: Just like your friends can’t show up at your job randomly to kick it, you should treat this the same.
SET BOUNDARIES: Just because you are working remotely does NOT mean you are now ALWAYS ON. People will work you to the bone and use guilt and lack of in person communication to make you feel you should be working more. Keep working smart, not harder. Over communicate and let people know what is/ isn’t feasible for you.
LIMIT PERSONAL CALLS: By intercepting personal and business together, this can lower productivity and employers will be watching like hawks during this time even more. Stay woke!
STAY HYDRATED & OPEN A WINDOW FOR FRESH AIR: You will not be as active so you may think you are hungry when you aren’t. Chances are you are thirsty not hungry. Also, cracking a window for fresh air in a cramped space can be refreshing and relieve some stress of not being outside.
FOR PARENTS-PREPAREDNESS IS CRITICAL : Meal prep, activity schedules and scheduled break and nap times are critical. Without the help of someone else, this can feel overwhelming so stay strong! See if there is any flexibility in your workload to see if your boss will allow for you to work a different schedule that will accommodate your children’s needs. Also, setting expectation with managers that your children are home and may interrupt can be tricky but worth trying.
Most importantly, GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE! Times like this make us feel like we aren’t doing enough, but remember that you are. This isn’t just a time to do your “job” but it is a time for you to stay healthy and take care of your family during this time. Remember that staying alive and well is your job more than ever. Stay well my friends and hang in there. We will get through this.