Well, everybody. It finally happened. It definitely didn’t happen the way we hoped it would. But this week, Americans have started a massive shift to working from home (WFH). As a result of COVID-19, teams all across the country have been asked to adopt remote options and practice social distancing. While temporary, I think I can speak for most of us when I say it’s a shake up.
Although the trends for startups and technology companies have allowed WFH days previously, there’s a brand new group of us that have never done it before and it’s going to be an experiment to say the least.
Some people will thrive.
Others will get distracted by kids and pets and a fully stocked fridge of their favorite snacks…
No matter which category you fall into, I think it’s important to share some grounding tips about working from home and how we all can remain productive and HAPPY as we transition into this temporary change of pace:
- Get yourself ready for work – For most, the biggest adjustment with WFH is to maintain a routine. This starts with how you begin your day. You “normally” would get yourself ready for work, which more or less includes showering and getting dressed. Do you have to put shoes on and a full face of makeup? Nah. But actually “getting ready” for work (both physically and mentally) with set you up for productivity and positivity – staying in your PJs can radiate the “PJ vibe”: laziness and tiredness.
- Take breaks – Newsflash: You’re allowed to take a break. Actually, you should take multiple. There’s a tendency to think that because you are physically at home, you almost have to overwork. Schedule out time throughout the day for a legit break, including a proper lunch. Your mind will thank you.
- Get fresh air and MOVE – Even though there’s a bit of panic in the air and we don’t necessarily have the desire to sit at a Starbucks and work, it’s crucial to get out of the house for a minute. Being “cooped up” is not healthy for your mind and I don’t know about you, but I can go stir-crazy just sitting around on a Sunday afternoon, let alone a whole week. Even just sitting outside for 10-15 minutes with a cup of coffee can do wonders. And don’t forget, just because our routines are a bit messy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise! A walk around the block or maybe an at-home workout will do wonders for your body!
- Talk to people (not just work related) – Most of us are on Slack and it’s a great way to communicate business tasks quickly. But don’t feel as though you’re limited to work conversations only. Just as though you were in office, carry on with non-work conversations too! (That means laughing and joking, please! Goodness knows we need more of that right now) It’ll help level out the loneliness that can come with WFH and keep you grounded in the present!
- Plan your day out – Most of us have a rhythm that we like to work to during the day; don’t lose that! If anything, reinforce it MORE. Maybe you knock out your “B-time” tasks in the morning (emails, follow ups, administrative work, etc.) and then schedule back-to-back phone calls in the afternoon. Whatever works for you, schedule out your day so it flows well.
- Create a space of quality – The benefit of working from home is that you do get to be AT HOME (duh, Devan). Well, personally I think there’s something to be said about being in a place of comfort. I know that some people find more value in a standard office setting but being at home can allow you to customize your environment to your needs. Maybe you burn a yummy candle, open a window, and turn on YOUR favorite Spotify playlist (not what Karen wants to listen to). Totally up to you! Enjoy it!
- Stop buying 50 rolls of toilet paper – That’s it. That’s all.
We’re all going through an adjustment period but the best news is that we will get through it! And soon! What’s important for all of us now is to stay positive, productive, and HAPPY during these next few weeks. (And take a break from the social media people! It’s making us crazy.)