Tips on Working From Home

#WFH is the norm for most Americans, and much of the world, as we battle COVID-19. For some, the forced isolation has been a welcome gift, but for many more people it has caused frustration and aggravation. Here are some tips for managing work at home.

Create an At-Home Office

  • Create a comfortable space to work even if physical adjustments are necessary. Social media is full of creative ways people have developed to work from home.
    • Consider how to prevent fur babies and others from interrupting.
    • Use devices such as noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Make sure you have a comfy seat or get memory foam padding to increase physical comfort during long stretches of work.
  • Get dressed enough for work that it feels like you’re working. When it’s time for recreation or family life, changing your clothes can help you feel like you’re not working. It also sends a signal to those around you that they can now interact with you.

Restructure Your Routines

  • What are your working hours? Working from home requires exceptional boundaries to retain a balanced life. If possible, keep to your regular working hours as much as possible to feel the stability of your old routine. But set your hours so that you have off-time.
  • Try not to work through meals or breaks. Consider having meals with colleagues or loved ones in-person or via video. 
  • What time will you rise and go to bed? Rest must come first, esp. if it has become impaired because a lack of sleep will provoke anxiety, increase physical stress, and depress the immune system. 

Keep Connected & Networking

  • Increase connection with colleagues and mentors 
    • Don’t just rely on email, pick up the phone or go on video to connect.
    • After time, the tendency may be to not do video meetings as much, but fight against this.
    • Consider creating a recurring virtual watercooler event since work-related calls might not provide that space. 
  • Stay in tune with bosses/ supervisors
    • Discuss expectations for your work, including deliverables and hours given that life has changed for everyone. Are deadlines now more flexible? If you do not have as much work, can you relax or are you expected to fill in the time? Ask your organization for the information you need, knowing that things may continue to change. 
    • Talk to your boss/supervisor about what you need to succeed with the change in circumstances such as access to resources. Don’t be afraid to say when something isn’t working—after all, most did not have much time to put their remote plans into place. 
  • If you have less work, consider if there is anything you have been wishing to do for yourself professionally such as learning about innovations in your field or looking at new positions.