SET UP SHOP
It all starts with finding the appropriate place to work- a “safe haven,” so to speak. Think about what you’ll need during the work day, and carefully scout out a spot to make your new office. Consider noises, distractions, lighting, energy outlets, telephone lines and more. What sort of environment would be most conducive to a streamlined workday? Odds are through trial and error, you’ll find a spot that you just get comfy in. Which brings us to our next point…
GET ON THAT ROUTINE
Just like starting a new fitness regime, the key to making everything click in the early days is by repetition. Do what you gotta do- wake up at the same time, shower, have that cup of coffee, read a newspaper, whatever you need to do to shift from “at home” mode to “focus on business” mode. When you’re not making your morning commute (routine!), it gets very easy for universes to collide and for you to find yourself in a state of confusion and discomfort. Try to give yourself as regular hours as your position permits. Spend more hours at home working than you were previously in the office and odds are good that someone in your home just might get angry. Likewise, when the day needs to end, log off your computer and mentally move away from work mode. You’ll thank us later.
…but that does NOT mean you absolutely have to stay locked in your office for the entire day. Think of a normal workday- we get up, maybe chat with a co-worker here and there, go for a lunchtime walk and hit up that coffee pot. By all means, take a necessary break when you need it! Burnout from the home office is actually fairly common when employees don’t get up and stretch every once in a while. As much as 45% of us will feel it during some point during our home office experience. If you have the opportunity to get some fresh air at all, TAKE IT. Quarantine has done enough damage to our psyche as is.
HAVE A TALK
Things are different now, and it could be a very long time before things get back to “normal.” So if you find yourself in a situation where you’re suddenly working each day from home, we recommend that you lay some ground rules. WIth your spouse, your roommates, and perhaps hardest of all, children.
Let them know your planned routines, and at the same time hear them out on their work and personal needs. There’s a way to compromise- there always is. Coordinate a schedule, take turns watching little ones and walking the doggos, share chores.
You know, like you usually do.