Working from home has some advantages—no need to commute, having access to your own kitchen, being able to dress comfortably, and having more flexibility in your schedule. However, the sudden transition from office to home work can become challenging, especially having your family members and kids around.
As phycologytoday.com advises some of most important aspects of the transition to home office are setting up a new routine, structure and boundaries. Those should be desirably closer to your regular work life. This is very important because it will keep you focused, productive and able to separate your work life from your home life.
Creating a dedicated Work station
Make sure you have set up a dedicated workspace. If you have a spare room, that’s ideal. If not, you can set up at the kitchen island or dining room table, ideally next to the coffee machine. Arrange the equipment you need: laptop (PC), chargers, phone, headphones, pen and paper, etc. and create an “office feeling” place. This is going to help you stay focused!
Create a Morning Routine
Get up at your regular time in the morning and follow your regular routine—take a shower, get dressed, and have breakfast. Do some exercise, yoga, or meditation if it is part of your routine. It may be tempting to work in your pajamas from your comfy couch or even your bed. However, you may find yourself feeling less motivated to work and more inclined to take a nap.
Use your breaks creatively
Using your scheduled breaks is important part of your work life. We usually use them to grab a snack, to socialize with colleagues or simply to unwind. It is important to take your breaks even when working from home, because it will give you the same feeling of structure. Unlike in the office, at home there many other ways to use your breaks – you can do your laundry, talk to your kids/spouse or family members. However, the experts advise that probably one of the best ways to unwind and stay energized and focused is doing some quick exercises. It could be stretching, yoga or a quick workout like Tabata (only 6 min).
Ask for help
In a typical workplace setting, when you are stuck on something, you can always check in with your coworkers to brainstorm about a solution. Working from home may create the feeling of having to solve every problem on your own. This increases the feelings of isolation and decreases efficiency. Use video or chat to ask your team leads for help when you need it. The ability to ask for help is crucial for your mental health as well as for your ability to do your job.
Socialize with colleagues
Social interaction is a very important part of a workplace. When the ability to interact is suddenly gone, your need for it is not. In the current situation, when our office has suddenly gone virtual, be sure to check in with your colleagues. Use teams during your breaks and have good interactions with your favorite colleagues. Also, make sure your manager knows what you’re doing and when. Use the full advantages of Microsoft teams.
Even in normal times it's not easy to stay focused on work for long periods of time. During the time of COVID-19, it is even more tempting to keep looking online or listening to the radio for the latest developments. Unfortunately, this is likely to reduce your productivity and increase your anxiety. In order to stay informed without getting stuck, expert’s advice is to check the news maximum twice a day —once in the morning and once in the evening.
Keeping your spirit high is important not only if you work from home, but as this is our new reality for some time we need to do an extra effort to stay positive. In your spare time – before and after work there are plenty of ways to stay positive. Here some ideas:
- Listening to happy and uplifting music is one of the best ways to stay positive; you can even dance around the house for several minutes.
- Exercising – it is well known fact that working out even for several minutes releases endorphin (happiness hormone) in your body. Apart from that it will give you the feeling of taking care of yourself and being in control.
- Watching comedy shows and funny movies – Everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine. Try to watch funny movies and videos instead of serious ones. Being able to laugh during challenging times helps us overcome them easily and quicker.
- Practice your hobbies – spending some time practicing your hobbies, if it’s possible, will definitely help you feel satisfied and positive. Be creative and find time for the little things that make you happy.
- Spend time with your loved ones and your family – connecting with others and have a quality time with them is definitely one of the ways to stay positive and happy. Set a specific time at least once per day to connect with the closest people to you.
- Help others – supporting each other and helping someone is probably one of the best ways to lift your spirit. Psychologists often say that even if you’re not feeling at your best, helping someone else is one of the best ways to help yourself and stay focused on the positive.