February 1st is National Get Up Day. This gives us an opportunity to share inspiring stories of perseverance. It reminds us to pick ourselves up when we have fallen and give it another try. In our new normal, one of our biggest challenges can be working effectively from home while still feeling connected to your co-workers. Many of these trials could be parents with young children having to take on the role of teacher or dealing with a demanding and affectionate officemate (yes, I am talking about my cat).
Below is a list of tips and tricks to use if this is a challenge you face:
|Maintain regular hours||If we were back in the office, would you normally be working 9-5? If so, then continue this schedule even if you work from home. Find what times you are most productive and use this to your advantage. If you have clear guidelines on when the day will start and stop, this will give you a good work-life balance.|
|Create a morning and end of day routine||Pre-COVID, I am sure most of us would have a morning and end-of-day routine to help put us in motion. Working from home should be no different. These routines could include making a cup of coffee, taking a shower, putting on a tv show, or taking the dog for a walk. Find what works for you and stick to it. This will prepare you mentally to know it is time for work. Remember – rhyme, rhythm, routines.|
|Set grounds rules with the people in your space||Let’s be realistic, other people can be very distracting, especially when you are trying to focus. If you know you will be busy and know what will be distracting for you, make sure others are aware of this so you can come up with a plan to work around it. For me, it was as simple as putting a whiteboard outside my office for when I had meetings.|
|Take breaks||For those of us who do computer-based work and sit all day long, it is important to do as today says and get up. Moving around at least every hour helps with blood circulation and gives your eyes a rest from the screen. Also, make sure to take breaks in their entirety. This will help to boost your productivity.|
|Ask for what you need||It can be very difficult to work from home if you do not have the proper equipment or office set up. When I started working from home, I was sitting on the floor in my living room using my coffee table (ouch). Items to help can include monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, a chair, a desk and so forth. If your home setup does not allow for a personal office, there are different workarounds to ensure you can be productive. For example, you can dedicate a desk or table space for work and put it away once you are done work. This will help your brain know when it is time to work and time to relax.|
|Socialize with colleagues||Isolation and loneliness can be very difficult when working from home. You should try to find different ways to connect and socialize with your co-workers. This could be as simple as using interactive platforms such as Slack or hosting virtual get-togethers.|