Has your office recently gone from a cubicle on the 30-something floor to your dining room table or makeshift desk in your bedroom? Are you now surrounded by 4-legged coworkers or in a position where you have to bounce between parenting and managing?
Relocating to a work-from-home space may come with schedule flexibility and sweatpants, but it can also come with its share of distractions and barriers.
Here are 5 quick tips to help make your transition to work-from-home a more positive and productive experience:
- Ask yourself what work-from-home environment suits you best: Some folks are perfectly fine lounging on the couch with their laptop. Others need to set up shop at the dining room table. Some need to face a wall for focus. Others need a window or natural light. Some are motivated by sweatpants. Others need to get up and get dressed just like it’s another day in the office. What scene and attire do you need to promote a healthy and productive work space?
- Establish a team communication plan: Were you used to interacting in-person with a specific coworker or department in order to perform well in your role? Reach out to this colleague/department and create a game plan for how you will divide and conquer! Does this mean having a daily team call to ensure everyone is on the same page? What about sending a mid-day email providing status updates? Decide the best communication strategy so everyone remains productive, aligned and effective!
- Schedule breaks for yourself: When working from home, it is very easy to zone in on what you are doing at 9:00 a.m. and, before you know it, 4:00 p.m. has hit and you haven’t even allowed yourself a break or time to eat lunch. Go into your Outlook calendar (or whatever program you use) and schedule in a lunch as well as a few 15-minute breaks throughout the day. If you are used to taking a lunch or coffee break with a coworker, schedule this time together and then maybe even hop on a video call together during that break or lunch!
- Create a “Top Tasks” list: If you are not already a “to-do” list person, I highly suggest creating a “Top Tasks” list each day for yourself. Working from home can become distracting and, at times, you may simply lack motivation. Writing a task list helps to keep you focused and driven, and you also get the satisfaction of crossing off each item as you go along! Seeing your productivity on paper truly helps, and it is also a way to share with your leader how you’ve taken action that day – being that you are no longer in the office together.
- Let your leader know what you need: Not everyone can easily transition to working from home. It may go well for the first week or so, but then you could begin to feel an imbalance. Make sure you are consistently communicating to your leader the ways in which you need support. This will prevent things from snowballing, and will also help you to remain engaged, strengthen your relationship with your leader and allow for consistent performance.
If you are a newbie to working from home, enjoy the perks such as those comfy clothes and putting your feet up when you want, but remember the importance of boundaries, focus and discipline. Ask yourself what you need to do your job well!
I have several years experience working remote and want you to know I am here for support and as a resource if needed!