By now, we’re all adjusting to the new normal that is “social distancing” and “COVID-19.” If you’re used to spending Monday through Friday in an office, this time spent working from home might be an adjustment. You may start noticing that routines like grabbing a morning coffee, a podcast on your commute or a 15 minute walk during your lunch break have a tangible impact on our well-being. As we adapt to our new schedules, these six tips can make working from home feel a bit more normal, while taking advantage of the work from home lifestyle.
Establish Efficient Workflows
Incorporating team-wide, interactive platforms can help make your workflow and processes more efficient. When you’re not sitting face-to-face with a coworker, answering questions and receiving clarification on projects might feel like a long, drawn-out process. Fortunately, there are many websites that cater to these exact needs. In fact, many are so user-friendly, they’re used in both non-remote and remote work environments
Asana: Asana is the project management tool we use at Cannavas Creative. It helps us organize content, upcoming events, clients and even our personal lives!
Conference Calling: We really recommend video conferencing when you’re able. It allows for a level of connection that you might not get over the phone with multiple people. And for efficiency’s sake, video calling makes it clearer who’s presenting, so your team isn’t talking over each other unintelligibly. Even if you don’t have an important meeting on the agenda, video conferencing is a great way to have a simple check-in with a coworker you enjoy chatting with around the office.
Google: Google Drive and Google Hangouts are our favorite way to discuss and share content. Google Drive is highly interactive and makes working on projects with multiple people feel completely seamless.
Start your day strong!
Sometimes, feeling like you have somewhere to be is all it takes to set yourself up for a productive morning. Sure, answering emails from your bed until 12 is relaxing on Monday, but by Wednesday you might feel yourself going a little stir crazy.
We find it super helpful to make an effort to wake up every morning and get ready for the day. Maybe you don’t feel like wearing a nice outfit (we don’t blame you) but at least change out of your pajamas! And when you’ve got virtual meetings? Make an effort to look presentable, because when you feel good you typically perform better than when you don’t.
Create a designated
Not everyone has an at home office. In fact, most people don’t! Regardless, when you’re working from home you should find a space (that’s not your bed) that you can use as your designated work area. Whether it be a countertop or the dining room table, allowing yourself space to sit down and focus, without the distractions of your “everyday life,” can increase productivity.
And when you need a break during the day, you can meander over to your bedroom or the couch and be able to disconnect more easily.
When you’re working from home, time can very quickly lose all meaning. It’s 10 am and you want a turkey sandwich? We’ve been there. Getting through your regular work day, when there’s nothing defining the “start” and “end” of the day, might be difficult to grasp. We’ve found that structuring our days like a typical office workday is helpful, especially when it comes to controlling our free time!
For example, we think it’s helpful to make an effort to eat your meals at similar times every day. When you’re working 3 feet from the kitchen, it becomes pretty easy to snack all day (what we like to call, grazing). And while we love handfuls of goldfish, we don’t love it when 5 pm rolls around and we realize we’ve taken no time to log off and take a break for ourselves. So plan your breakfast and your lunch. Take a break to enjoy a meal, disconnect outside, and get back to work recharged
When you start to feel like you’ve accomplished a good amount of work for the day, put your computer away! It’s like when you’re at the office and you think “now is a good time to start heading home,” except you’re walking from your dining table to the living room couch. If your work gear is left out around your house, you might have trouble disconnecting for the night. Put your belongings away after you log off so that you regain your space as your “home” and not your “office.”
After you’re done working for the day, make time to do something for yourself. Not only can creative exploration fuel a more thoughtful work, it transforms your home environment from one that’s filled with typically higher-strung “professional” energy, to a more relaxed, live-able energy. Whether that be cooking a meal for yourself, practicing a hobby or just watching a movie.
Get to doing all those things you said you were going to do. Read that book, start those infinite yoga videos your sister has been sending you. Now is a great time to pick up that second language with DuoLingo.
Overall, working from home has many benefits. However, as many people adapt to this new lifestyle out of necessity, rather than choice, they aren’t equipped with the resources needed to make remote-working productive and sustainable. Hopefully these tips help you to turn the work from home cards in your favor!