During this Covid-19 situation, many of your might be working from home for the first time ever. Even though many of us are into our sixth or seventh week of isolation, we still might feel like a fish out of water when it comes to being productive in a home office setting. Add in a spouse, a couple of kids and a cat that likes to walk on the keyboard and you’ve got yourself a chaotic work environment.
Some believe that working from home could become the new normal for many. This could solve a lot of problems – such as long commutes and achieving a better work -life balance. If this becomes a reality for you, you should work on improving your environment now.
Tips for Working from Home
- Set boundaries – In order for you to stay focused and on-task, it’s important to set boundaries with your family and loved ones whom you are isolating with. While you might not be able to keep a strict 9-5 schedule right now (and many employers are understanding and sympathetic about this during Covid), it’s important to establish your working time. Let your family know that when you are at your work station – wherever that may be in your home – that you are “at work.”
- Set up a proper work station – Even though you’re in your seventh week of isolation, you still might be working from a makeshift desk. You might have co-opted a section of the dining room table or the breakfast nook. This is fine for a few days, but not great for long-term. Not everyone has the luxury of having a dedicated office room in their home, but you could still set up a desk in part of an existing room. Get a proper office chair that offers proper back support and can be adjusted for comfort. It’s also good to have a dedicated space to separate yourself from the rest of your household.
- Take breaks for fresh air and meals – just like you world in an office setting, you need to take breaks for lunch, coffee or just some fresh air. Try not to eat at your work station in front of your computer. Establish some working from home routines, just like you would at work.
- Use headphones – During Covid-19 you are working from home, your partner might be, as well, and if you have kids, they might be doing e-learning. It’s good if you all have your own computers or tablets, but it could get noisy. Make sure everyone has headphones for video chats and teleconferencing. If your job requires a lot of phone calls, think about using a headset to make hands-free calling easier.
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