Many people have joined the overwhelming amount of professionals who, thanks to the Coronavirus, have been forced to adjust to a work environment that dons their own kitchen complete with their child’s half-eaten breakfast on the table.
For some, working from home was already a part of the normal routine before COVID-19, but for those who are new to the world of remote working, here are 5 ways you can make the transition as successful as possible.
The importance of communication can’t be stressed enough. Set up regular check-ins with your team or manager. These conversations should not only include updates on projects that you’re working on or individual tasks you have accomplished but should also allow for a brainstorming session on upcoming projects or ideas.
Try to emulate what you do in the office as much as you can virtually when it comes to communicating with others. Use video to create more engagement and even to help avoid loneliness. When you go from a work environment where you interact with people in-person on a daily basis, don’t forget to perform your own self check-ins for your mental well-being. If you need more engagement, seek it out as much as you can virtually.
Structure Your Work Environment
Be aware of where you are setting up shop in the house. Match the environment of your new home office to what you were used to at work as much as possible. Make sure wherever you are working, it isn’t too close to any distractions, i.e., your laundry room or a child’s playroom.
What should you do with your previous commute time? That’s really up to you. You could use the time to spend with the family, work on your self-development, whatever can help prepare you for the day or decompress after a day’s work. And remember, even though you aren’t getting ready to go into the office anymore, it helps to keep your typical morning routine as “normal” to you as possible. If wearing sweatpants still allows you to perform productively, go for it, but if that affects things negatively for you, dress how you would going into work.
Give yourself an endpoint to the day. Otherwise, work can easily bleed into home now that they are one and the same. Plan to stop your workday at a particular time and be clear about this to your colleagues, supervisor, and your family members. It’s not just about setting these expectations, it’s about following through and sticking to them too.
That said, one of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility it grants you. There might be some days you need to extend the workday, but when this does happen, make sure you finish the next day earlier than usual or start the next day a little later than normal.
Trips to the water cooler become a lot less frequent when you’re working from home. You don’t have colleagues around, and you probably don’t have a water cooler either. Regardless, it’s good to take the breaks you usually would when in the office. This not only helps to keep the flow of your workday as familiar as possible, but it also gives you the chance to recharge.
Since you aren’t in the most common work atmosphere for you, it’s a good idea to set a timer when you take breaks. This way, you won’t get too immersed in the home environment and forget you’re actually at work.
What works best for you while working from home? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.