Tips on Working from Home
When we quickly transitioned to remote work in March, you might have been hopeful that it would only last a few weeks. As the pandemic wears on and it appears many will continue to work from home for quite some time, it is important to develop new routines and habits to maximize productivity as well as work-life balance. Hopefully you have already developed several new habits that work best for you but below are additional tips to consider:
Create a dedicated workspace
Creating a quiet, uninterrupted space where you can focus on work is critical. While it may be difficult to help family members or roommates understand you are available only for true emergencies during work hours, creating this habit is important to create time to focus on work. Having a dedicated workspace also makes it easier to “leave” work at the end of the day and transition to personal/family time.
Create a pre-work routine
You likely had a pre-work routine before driving to the office each day. This might have included a workout, shower, breakfast or your morning coffee. It is important to continue these same habits or adopt new ones to help you transition to work each day. While in theory you can work from the couch in your pajamas, in practice it tends to be very difficult to be productive and focused. A pre-work routine that signals a transition to “the office” will help you be ready to tackle the day and maximize your productivity. As before, this might include setting an alarm for the same time each day, a workout, shower, breakfast and coffee. Perhaps try different routines to see what works best for you.
Structure Your Day
It is important to take your scheduled breaks – both physically and mentally. Most people find it helpful to move throughout the day and your break or lunch hours are a great time to do this. You also need the mental break so you are able to focus throughout the rest of the day. Structure your day so there is a designated end of day, enabling you to leave your workspace and “go home.”
Use technology to stay connected
Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation – especially if you are new to remote work. Using technology can help you feel connected to your coworkers. Teams enables chat and video conferencing for work appropriate conversation or team meetings. As a company, we are using Yammer to create virtual events to help us stay connected. A few team members have even commented they feel closer to those from other offices as we have been seeing photos of families and pets. Connect with your co-workers to share common interests even as we are apart.
Avoid cabin fever
Between work and home responsibilities, it is too easy to allow yourself to spend several days in the house without a break. It is important to go outside every day as well as schedule safe social interactions. While this is more challenging during the pandemic, your mental health likely needs time outdoors, physical activity and social interaction. Don’t neglect self-care during this time.
Try a variety of ideas
What works for one person seldom works for every person. Some people prefer a workout in the early morning while others find it helpful to unwind at the end of the workday. Some prefer low level background noise to help focus while others prefer complete silence. You may need to try multiple routines and habits before finding the combination that works best for you.
We appreciate the tremendous effort made by so many team members during this difficult time to develop new routines that enable us to provide exceptional service to our clients and their patients.