11 Tips for Working From Home

March 31, 2020

If you are one of the lucky people who is able to work from home during this crisis, you might be having a bit of trouble adjusting to the new status quo. Here are 11 ways to maximize your efficiency and minimize your stress until things get back to normal:

Sometimes you have to get creative with a second-hand desk, a dining chair, and your fiance’s old gaming keyboard!

  1. Get outside, get moving! Not having to leave the house to go to work can make it really easy for some people to stay inside all day. Make a point of spending time outside daily, whether it’s before or after work or on a break. Go for a walk, stretch, or just sit in the fresh air. (Just make sure to maintain social distancing and try not to touch anything.)
  2. Set up a second screen. Trying to fit your normal work on a little laptop screen can greatly reduce the amount of work you get done. Give yourself room to spread out! But if you don’t happen to have an extra screen lying around (as even Amazon Prime shipping is currently running around a month), no problem. Check out programs like Duet or Sidecar, which can turn your iPad or tablet into a second monitor.
  3. Make every day Bring Your Pet to Work Day. Having a pet by your side can help lower stress, provide social support, and encourage you to take periodic breaks that will improve both your health and your productivity. This time you’re spending at home will probably be a highlight of your dog’s life!
  4. Keep a clean and uncluttered workspace. The fewer distractions you have sitting around you, the better. Have a simple space with only the necessities so you can focus on the task at hand. Or, if it helps, decorate your home office like you would your public office for a familiar work environment.
  5. Stick to a schedule. Have a shift: start working at a set time, take a lunch break, and “punch out” at the end of the day as if you were working in your usual office setting. Working from home just means being in a different location – it’s not a free-for-all.
  6. Plan out your work day. Know what projects you are going to work on and when you have meetings or calls scheduled. Write it down to keep yourself motivated and on track.
  7. Change clothes when you’re done with work. Many people struggle with shutting off “work mode” when working from home. When you are done for the day, change out of the clothes you worked in. Whether you change into jeans or sweatpants is up to you…
  8. Take 15-minute breaks. Get away from your “desk” and reset your brain every now and then. Taking a short break actually improves your productivity and can help you focus better once you return. Plus, it’s beneficial to your body. If you find yourself spacing out, scrolling through Facebook, or reading the same sentence over and over, your brain needs a few minutes to rest.
  9. Eat meals away from your desk. Go to a different room or enjoy your lunch outside. Sitting in the same room all day will make the hours drag on – and nobody wants to risk spilling their lunch on their keyboard.
  10. Set boundaries with family and friends. Having the whole family home means distractions abound, but just because you are home doesn’t mean you can be available throughout the day for every little thing. Make sure anyone else who’s home understands that your time on the clock is dedicated to work first.
  11. Feel free to ignore any of this advice. Seriously! Ultimately, do what works for you. Are you more productive on the couch in your pajamas? Then by all means, enjoy this rare time where there is no dress code. As long as you are accomplishing what you’re being paid to do, do it with your own style.

As challenging as working from home can be, practice gratitude – you are among the minority still receiving a paycheck in these trying times. Hang in there, everyone!

Inspired by https://www.groovehq.com/blog/work-from-home