Many millions of Americans are working at their homes in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic and to everyone I’d like to say “welcome. I’ve been working from home for more than six years as freelance writing. I’m blessed to work in a position that allows me to work at home, something I’m not willing to sacrifice. Working from home in something as traumatic and as bizarre as this can present an entirely new set of difficulties such as you’re homeschooling your children when working or experiencing the solitude of working with no IRL colleagues.
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If you’re often unwashed and still in your pajamas till 3 p.m. It’s important to know that you’re not all on your own. I’ve learned a few good practices along the way (though I’m not sure if I’m always adhering to them). Here are some ideas about how you can make the most out of it.
1. Get moving during your commute.
Homework is an appeal to the sloth however, getting some exercise even if only for a short time can start your day off with a better energy level. Make the most of the time in the morning that you would normally devote to getting to work and take your own home-based workout (the Peloton app offers strength, yoga and bootcamp classes that can be streamed to your TV, with no costly bicycle required) or go to run or walk (provided you’re not in a quarantined state). If you’re not one for mornings Try to fit into the 20-minute remote exercise in the afternoon or after you’ve finished your day. Endorphins could be the key to a positive outcome during this dark time.
2. Change your clothes and shower.
It may sound simple and clean however, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to convince yourself that it’s more convenient to get right to work the at the beginning of the day, rather than even take a few minutes of time to wash. Please note that I’m not saying that wearing an “real dress” or “jeans” is mandatory or even necessary, but even changing from your last night’s outfit to an athleisure outfit sometime during the day will go quite a ways to make you feel like an adult.
3. Embrace podcasts.
Without any work-related friends and the squeaky silence podcasters have become my fake friends. (That might sound strange as it is, but it’s the way things work when you work at home.) I’m less lonely thanks for Michael Barbaro explaining the news to me on The Daily; Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber reporting what Rita Ora is doing on Who? Weekly as well as Lovett or Quit It for offering the weekly download of pop culture and politics.
4. Also, make time to spend with real friends.
The isolation of working at home is possibly the most difficult part. Join in on the Office’s Virtual Facebook happy hour or set up old-fashioned phone calls with your families and friends to stay in touch. They’re a great trick of boosting your mood.
5. Log off of Twitter or any other social media.
There’s nothing hindering you from constant browsing social media while on using WFH, but a momentary sign out of the system can cause a lot of chagrin instead of logging right into an endless stream of information and content, you’re presented with an authentication screen and reminded to be at work and not refresh your New York Times homepage, or checking the gender of your friend from third grade announcement on Instagram.
6. Develop strategies and collaborate with latest “colleagues.”
If you’re suddenly working from home, alongside a partner who is also working from home, plus taking care of and/or homeschooling your child/children–first of all, you have my solidarity. It’s a difficult circumstance and the only thing you have to do is do your best. In order to lower the anxiety and stress levels, and to be as efficient as you can plan an early morning meeting. Examine the adult’s work schedules, look for important calls , Zoom meetings as well as virtual school sessions and then create a plan for action, including those who need to work and who needs to do schoolwork, at what time.
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7. Don’t become Cinderella.
If you’re spending the entire day at home and you realize how many projects and chores are waiting for you: dishwashers require unloading and messy drawers need to be organized children’s toys are scattered around. I love doing some quick tidying-up each morning to ensure that I don’t have to work in the mess, but be careful to avoid letting the housework take over working time. It’s a good method of distraction and procrastination.
8. Set boundaries.
You may find that other people who work in conventional job settings have a tendency to believe that “working from home” means “not working at all,” and will call or text you at random with questions/concerns/rants, etc. A simple “I’ll be at work until 5 pm and will be chatting in the evening!” or “Call you to talk with me during lunch” generally works. It’s the same with your perspective on your working day: Don’t to allow working from home to mean that you are working through the night and day. This is not the best time to be exhausted completely.
9. Beware of snacking in the middle of the night.
Overeating a constant stream of fun size Halloween/Valentine’s Day/Easter candy is a longtime occupational hazard of working from home. Yes I support eating and snacking, but it’s difficult to stay away from the temptation for 8 hours straight. Making healthy snacks like chopped veggies, apple slices, tzatziki and peanut butter can help.
10. Have a luxurious lunch.
It’s perfectly fine if on some times, there’s just enough peanut butter to eat with the spoon. The work-from-home saga can result in getting home after 2.30 p.m. then realizing that you haven’t eaten lunch. However, on occasions I’m a fan of taking an WFH lunch breakI make sure to take a break during lunch to replenish my energy and mental health–to prepare myself a decent lunch. You deserve it.
11. Take care of yourself.
If there was ever an opportunity to use this clichéd chant This is the time. Keep in mind that you’re not just working from home. As many have pointed out that you’re working at your home in the midst of an world healthcare crisis. Your new job win could be that you just get through your day doing your best as you can.