New to working from home? The outbreak of the coronavirus has most people working from home. If you’re new to working remotely, these 6 tips can help you stay productive and maintain balance.
1. Designate a dedicated office space
One of the big challenges of working remotely is keeping your work and home lives separate. Creating a separate physical space separate from the rest of your home that you can designate for work only can help maintain balance.
This doesn’t have to be a whole room or large space. You can create this separation with just a desk in a corner. Or if you use the same laptop for business and personal activities, designate the kitchen table for work and the couch for personal time. Find what works best for you.
2. Keep clearly defined working hours
Part of the appeal of working from home is flexibility but if you are available to work any time of day or week, you’re never really “off work”.
So just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance.
3. Set ground rules with the people in your space
Now that you’ve set your schedule, let other people in your home know when you’re on duty. Be sure to make sure everyone understands that just because you are home, that does not mean you are free for chores, taking care of pets or children.
4. Schedule breaks
Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. This will help refresh the mind, replenish your mental resources, and helps you become more creative.
When working remotely, its easy to get heads-down in work and forget to check in with managers and employees. Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone you collaborate with regularly. Relay any changes to your work schedule, check in on projects, or just say ‘hi’.
And you don’t have to stick with only text-based communication like email or chat. You might find its best to check in periodically over the phone or through video chat. This can cut down on miscommunication and break up some of the social isolation that comes with working from home.
6. Take sick days
Just because you’re already home, doesn’t mean you should just power through work if you aren’t feeling your best. Taking time to rest and get better will help you be your most productive self in the long term.
These are just a few recommendations that can help you maintain boundaries between work and personal life. As you become comfortable working from home, experiment on your own to find out how to make working from home work for you in these unpredictable times.
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