Working from home for the first time? We got you!

The new coronavirus is shutting down local businesses and is keeping people at home. Companies are trying to reduce the risk of infection by social distancing their employees. Employers are encouraging or mandating individuals to work out of their homes and stay in-doors. If you’re not used to the sudden changes the coronavirus has brought or found temporary employment, you will need to change up some of your habits and routines to make working from home more successful. Below are a few of the best tips for working from home.

1. Maintain Regular Hours

Working from home can be difficult but it does not have to be. Set a work schedule for yourself. Plan out your day and set guidelines for yourself so you know when to work and to call it a day so you can keep a healthy routine both mentally and physically. Whether, you want to start early in the morning, or do your work in intervals. You also need to accommodate for others’ time zones if you work for a nationwide or global company.

2. Socialize with Colleagues

Social distancing can be hard and especially difficult when you are used to chatting with coworkers every day. Loneliness, disconnect and social isolation can become common problems when working from home. Don’t be afraid to ask the company you work for if they are setting up a social web-space. A social web-space for a company can be a place employees can go onto to chat with others or express ideas. Web-spaces and online conferences such as Zoom or Google Hangout are great options to keep you and other employees connected.

3. Setup a Dedicated Office Space

In the professional world, most employees would be working from the office or at some kind of a desk. While, you might not have your own desk at home, it is a great idea to setup some kind of office space in your home. Places like a coffee table or a simple quiet room where you can work at, are great for the atmosphere of work. When it’s time to work simply go to the space you created and get going and when your work is done, simply go to another room or space in the house to give yourself a break.

4. Create a Morning Routine

Hearing the alarm go off in the morning and trying to get up to work while at home can be difficult if you are not used to working from home. If you have a hard time getting to your chair or office space, set up a morning routine. Whether, it’s getting a cup of coffee, working out or getting dressed for work. A morning routine can be the deciding factor in your work performance for the day.

5. Schedule Breaks

Most employees have an hour or two 15 minute breaks for their work day, one of the perks of working from home is that you schedule your own break time. It can be difficult to not get distracted while at home so set up breaks for the time you are working. It can be every two hours or a five minute break every half hour depending on the workload. Taking breaks will rest your mind and body and keep you going!

6. Be Active in Meetings

Some, not at all, companies will partake in mandatory online video conferences and conference calls, but it will be a good idea to attend optional meetings when you can too. This can only benefit you to show your boss or employer that you are doing your best to support the business and stay on task. During online conferences, it is very easy to just sit in and listen. Be sure to say something every once in a while so others know you are there. A quick, “Morning”, “Thanks, everyone!” or suggestion can go a far way in making your online presence known.

7. Do What You Can

While many people are working from home due to the spread of the coronavirus, the kiddos might be at home with you too. Set up a time where they have time with you and a time you can do your work while also keeping an eye on them. Do the work you can and discuss when you are unable to do it. Many people across the globe are stuck in their homes and chances are your boss will understand that being a parent comes first!

8. Manage Expectations

Before, starting any work from home, it would be a good idea to have discussion with your boss about what work can be done from home. Discussions and things to talk about with your boss to avoid confusion down the road include; top priorities and how the tasks will be accomplished, team projects, what times will we meet, and so forth. Keep the conversation going and don’t be afraid to over communicate because this might be a new experience for your boss as well!

9. Update Technology

Suppose you don’t want to invest in all new equipment for working at home, well you don’t have to! An easy solution for working at home is just making sure, your programs and tech knowledge is up to date. More than likely, your company will be using an online hangout space to share ideas. If you are not up to date with applications like Zoom, Google Hangout or others out there, watch a few tutorials on YouTube and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

10. Stay Positive

Remember to stay positive. Social isolation can definitely have any person feeling down in the dumps. You don’t want to come off as irritable or negative when talking to other employees, whether its email, video chat or on the phone. Listen to peaceful music or your favorite artist throughout the day to keep your head in a clear mind state!

Above all else, remember this is only temporary, so instead of looking at the negatives, take a step back and take advantage of the perks of working from home! Others are going through the same thing so don’t hesitate to reach out to someone to talk. Also, keep washing your hands even if you are at home to keep your workspace clean!

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