Whether or not working remotely has been familiar for you, transitioning to full remote work isn’t comfortable no matter how much practice you’ve had.
No matter where you land on this scale, all of us have been facing unique challenges right now. Working remotely means figuring out when to work, where to work, and how to establish those work-life balance boundaries.
Here are 5 of our most effective Work-From-Home tips:
1. Establish your Routine
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but there’s a reason people keep saying it. Setting up a routine allows you to form habits. There’s a difference between saying “I’ll sit down at 8 am and start working” and creating a routine that gets you behind the desk at 8 am.
If you start your day in the morning, maybe your routine starts with a cup of coffee, a shower and picking out your outfit. Similarly, end your workday with a routine. Maybe it’s taking one last call, making a to-do list for tomorrow and closing the laptop to get back to home-life.
2. Learn to love the webcam
If you’re anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with your webcam. Working from home means a lot of things: more time with family, more sweatpants, less makeup. But it also means less interaction with your colleagues.
In the first week or two while at home, I felt like if I was working anywhere but my desk in my home office, I had to turn the webcam off to look as professional as possible. For those at home with their (also working-from-home) significant other, that meant that if they were in the office, I thought I had to be elsewhere with my camera off.
At first, I looked at this as an opportunity to throw my hair in a bun and wear a baggy sweatshirt. What it actually ended up being, was me feeling disengaged in the meetings I was having. With less face-to-face communication, we miss cues, communication isn’t as clear and it breeds a sense of confusion and separation.
It’s important to see the people you’re talking to if not for clearer communication surrounding the work, then just to talk with someone other than those in your house. A lot of times people don’t even have one meeting in the day – that also makes it hard. This is one of the reasons why Red Argyle set up a daily, open meeting for all employees to drop in just to say hello. It’s important to feel connected to the people we work with, especially now.
Throw away the idea that for your daily check-in that you have to be sitting in your desk chair in a blazer – embrace the living room background.
3. Schedule Breaks – and take them!
If you have a flexible schedule, this one is easy – but if not, find out your company’s policy on breaks. Pencil in 15-30 minutes a day to step away from the screen. Whether it’s to eat some lunch or to pet your dog, stepping out of work-mode for a few minutes helps alleviate burnout.
Another important rule to follow is to actually take the breaks you designate. When you take them, take them in their entirety. That email will still be there in 15 minutes and you’ll be in a clearer headspace when you come back and respond. If halfway into your break something pressing comes up and you can’t push it off, make sure you are taking that extra time later on when things calm down.
4. Over Communicate
This is likely one of the most important tactical suggestions that you can put to action. We aren’t in the office anymore which means that you aren’t able to stop by a coworker’s desk to ask a quick question on the way to the water cooler.
Let your team know where you stand on projects. Make sure they are aware of what your schedule looks like in the coming days. If you have a question, ask it! Feeling like you are being repetitive might be uncomfortable at first, but you are saving yourself time and energy in the long run.
5. Be easy on yourself
Despite taking in all of these tips, this transition isn’t easy. Even those of us who regularly work from home know that remote work requires tons of discipline and communication, which aren’t always easy to navigate. Throw in the unpredictable nature of the world right now, it’s inevitable that things are not going to run as smoothly as you hope.
So, be easy on yourself – this is a hard time in history for all of us. We will get through this! If you need some tips on managing your anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak, check out this article from ScienceAlert.com.
Focus on you
Before everything, try to figure out what works best for you. You might figure that out organically, through web articles like this one or from picking up the phone and talking to a friend who is dealing with the same challenges.
Read more about how Red Argyle is handling COVID-19 and how we can be a resource:
- How Red Argyle Can Help: Salesforce & COVID-19
- COVID-19 Update: We’re Going Remote!
- Adjusting to a New Normal: How We Can Help
As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at any point. We are always available at firstname.lastname@example.org