March 20, 2020
As the coronavirus continues to spread, many people across the World have recently joined the “work-from-home” force. Countless businesses in the United States have made the responsible choice to do their part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, by allowing many employees to work from home. I, myself am currently writing this, not from my office at the Bank, but from my “home office” which is really just a laptop at the kitchen counter.
Working from home is a whole new world for me, and many, many others in the World right now. And although necessary, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Here are a few tips to help make your time working from home productive and maybe just a little less lonely.
- Keep a Morning Routine — Just because you’re not commuting and going into an office doesn’t mean you should skip your weekday morning routine. Wake up at your normal time, shower, and get dressed in real clothes (they can still be comfortable…just avoid pajamas!) It may sound trivial, but this helps you mentally prepare for the day ahead and get into the “I’m going to work” mindset.
- Maintain Regular Hours — Do your best to stick to your normal work hours. This will help ensure that you get your work done, stay on schedule and it will likely help keep you in good graces with your boss!
- Have a Dedicated Workspace — It doesn’t have to be a room with a door, but it should be away from distractions. This might be a desk, dining room table or countertop, but generally, your bed, your couch or your favorite recliner are not good ideas. Besides making you feel like you’re at an “office,” having a workspace helps you maintain good posture, avoid distractions, and leave your work behind at the end of the day.
- …but Don’t Just Sit There — Sitting all day isn’t healthy even if you’re at the office. Get up and move around some. A lunchtime walk, while still practicing social distancing, can help you feel like you’re not stuck inside all day. Occasionally, get a cup of coffee or a glass of water just like you would at the office.
- Still Take a Lunch Break — Under the circumstances, you should try to eat at home, but step away from your workspace for the lunch hour. Consider taking a lunchtime walk, but don’t be tempted to run those errands.
- Fight the Urge to Multitask — This may seem like a convenient time to catch up on chores, but it’s easier than you’d expect to get distracted. Now is not the time to rearrange your living room (I’ve been tempted) or start a load of laundry. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little break, but don’t let chores distract you from being productive.
- Stay Connected — Promptly respond to emails and phone calls from customers and co-workers— just like you would from your “real” office. If you’re like me, you’ll start to miss your co-workers! Give them a call and check in on them—they’re probably feeling a little lonely, too!
- Don’t Hesitate to Ask for What You Need — Let your supervisor know if you have computer problems, equipment problems or need office supplies. This is new territory for many companies so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The next few days or weeks will be different for all of us while we work together to combat the spread of COVID-19— thank you for doing your part, no matter how challenging it may be.