Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, having a work from home job was a highly sought after dream for many. The idea of not having to get ready, take a long commute, and being able to get more done around the house seemed like the ideal life.
But now, with everyone being forced to work from home at a moment’s notice, they’re finding that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This is partially due to many being unprepared and having no home office or dedicated workspace. For others, the solitude they once craved is the thing they hate the most.
Since we’re all going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, I spoke with some work from home experts for advice to help get us through.
Here’s what they had to say
I’ve been working remotely for the past two years. If I told you it was an easy adjustment, I’d be lying. There was a lot of trial and error while I tried to find my groove and figure out what worked best for me.
There are two things I highly recommend to help keep you focused and stay on track.
- Have a routine to follow each morning. Make your bed (this will help discourage an afternoon nap), wash your face, and change out of your pajamas.
- Keep your workspace clean. Even if you’re working from your couch or kitchen table, clean the area around you. This will help you focus on your work and not the pile of dishes in your sink or the laundry that needs to be washed.
It’ll take a while to get used to being home all day, but you can do it!
I have been working remotely for the past six months, and I’m still in my adjustment period. I haven’t had trouble staying on task or completing my work. BUT, I have had a lot of trouble with the isolation aspect.
When I was working in an office setting, I looked forward to having coffee with my coworkers every day. I also never realized how much easier my job was when I could bounce ideas off my teammates in real-time and get feedback throughout projects I was working on.
To help with this, we have scheduled bi-weekly meetings. We don’t set an agenda— we just work together over video chat. This way we can ask questions and talk while we work. It helps to get my creativity flowing, and it’s something I look forward to.
This is going to make me sound like a bad person, but here it goes… Before I transitioned to working from home, I only saw my family in the evenings and over the weekend. Don’t get me wrong— I love my wife and my children— I was just used to the separation. They were driving me crazy.
Being home and around them all day, I would feel like I never got a break. We don’t have an extra bedroom for an office, so I had to get creative and set one up in my master bedroom.
To help avoid distractions (and save my sanity), we set rules: If the door is closed, I’m not to be disturbed. If the door is open, I’m available for anything they need.
This system has really worked for us.
– Mike E.
I don’t know if this is a common issue, but I have the most trouble with work-life-balance. I am a perfectionist to a fault. Meaning, even at the end of the night, when I should be done working, I pull out my computer and continue to work.
I know that not everyone has this luxury, but to help myself step away from my work, I purchased another computer for personal use. This way, I’m not tempted to log into my email or work on any projects.
Before I purchased the second computer, I would put my laptop under my bed or inside a drawer and practiced an out of sight, out of mind mentality. This helped me separate work from my home life, and drastically improved my overall happiness.
Staying inside all day was starting to wear on me. Then I realized I didn’t need to work for 9 hours straight, even eating lunch in front of my computer. I thought about what I liked most about working in my office, and tried my best to emulate that.
Now I listen to music while I work, schedule breaks every day, and try to get out of my apartment and go for a walk, grab a coffee, or hit the grocery store.
Working from home doesn’t have to feel like you’re locked in captivity. You can still enjoy your day and get your work completed without being chained to your desk.
The transition from an office environment to working from home is going to take some time to get used to. Reach out to your colleagues. They’re probably experiencing the same difficulties you are.
If your team uses Slack, or another instant messaging system, keep the lines of communication open.
Do you have advice you’d like to share with others making the transition? Do you need help or support while trying to figure things out?
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!