Right now, the coronavirus is at the top of everyone’s mind. During these uncertain times we understand it’s challenging to stay on top of your work and stay positive. Remembering that all of us are on the same boat and are willing to support one another is the silver lining during this pandemic. Here are some tips and resources to help you navigate the waters of working remotely during these times.
- Set up a designated work station
A designated workspace is essential to help you create a bit of separation between your work and home life. This could be the desk in your living room or dining room but try to steer away from working in your bedroom because that’s your safe space to unwind after work. It’s also essential to set up your work station with proper ergonomics to help you work safely for long periods. It should be set up in such a way that you are less likely to experience eye strains, back pain or tendon problems. The focus should be put on making yourself feel comfortable at work especially if it requires you to stay in one position for long hours. For more information on how to set up your ergonomic work station refer here.
- Create a schedule and stick to it!
It’s hard to stay on top of your work when your bed is within steps of your work station. To help you stay organized try to stick to your regular work day to ensure productivity and to keep yourself accountable for your work. Using a Google calendar or the Plan app can help segment your day into tasks to keep yourself organized. Establish your start time, midday break periods, and what time you plan to clock out for the day. Setting reminders on these apps can help tell you when to shift gears and start working on a new task.
- Act as if you are going into the office
Doing what you would normally do before heading into the office creates this mental association between work and an office which is where you are the most productive. Set your alarm, brush your teeth, and get dressed even if it’s just in sweatpants. Not only does this prepare you for any impromptu video meetings but creating such a routine helps you stay on top of your work even during the middle of the week.
- Take a break
It’s always easy to get wrapped up in your work but chaining yourself to a desk isn’t a recipe for success. Without taking adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance all begin to suffer. Start to transfer your commute time to intentional rest time. Remember to get up and stretch once in a while and take a lunch break so you’re not stuck sitting in one place for long periods of time. If you’re having trouble maintaining healthy habits, consider using Google’s Break Timer to remind you to take your breaks!
Exercise naturally increases endorphins which help boost overall productivity. Doing regular stretches helps you maintain great posture and if you’re wanting to get out of your cluttered work space consider setting up a standup desk! Fresh air can help clear the mind so try going for a quick jog if needed.
- Minimize distractions
You’re used to your home being the place where you unwind so it can be challenging to stay focused at times. Consider turning your phone to silent or disabling notifications from social media during your workday so you can stay productive. StayFocusd is an app that helps to restrict the amount of time you spend on social media. Setting these boundaries will help ensure you complete your tasks by the end of the day.
- Stay connected!
During these hard times it’s important to reach out to your colleagues and check in with them. This helps to build your team culture virtually even if you’re not sharing the same space. Keep in touch through Slack or even a quick call can help boost team morale and remind others that we’re all here to support one another.
- Delay your home responsibilities
During your workday, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about doing the laundry or making dinner. Try to treat your home office like your regular office where you wouldn’t be taking time away from work to do housework. These chores can easily be taken care of by the end of the day so try not to worry too much about them!
- Be transparent about your work situations!
If you’re working with kids at home, structure can be challenging. Be sure to communicate realistic expectations to your employers to allow for a more flexible schedule so you can take care of your family and meet your work deadlines. Your workplace should be accommodating in these situations and support you in any way they can.
- Shut off at the end of the day
Lastly, when you have completed your tasks for the day, be sure to sign off and take a break. Just like you would end your work day in the office, shut off your work email and computer at your usual time. This makes it so you have time to unwind and feel like your home is still your home!
We hope these tips can help to promote a healthy work-life balance. Remember your health and safety should be the top priority during these difficult times. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s going on, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend. There are also tons of resources online that are available for your support. Despite everything that is going on, we hope you’re able to find what works best for you when working remotely.