The key to effectively work from home isn’t obvious.
If you have just begun to work from home for the first time, you’re most likely to feel disconnected, lonely, overwhelmed, and distracted. Like a cat chasing a laser dot. That’s right, you are not alone.
I’ve been working remotely for almost 10 years, first in my award-winning sales career and now in my coaching career. Moreover, I’ve been on thousands of conference calls, web meetings, and sent millions of instant messages to collaborate with customers and colleagues all over the world.
My Top 3 Work from Home Survival Tips
Since the world is dealing with so much uncertainty, it’s important for us to destress and help each other. So, with that spirit, here are my top three Work from Home Survival Tips to help you get things done and connect with your team in new ways. We humans find change difficult, especially change that’s forced upon us. Therefore, I urge you to be kind to yourself as you adjust.
1. Create a Morning Routine
The best thing you can do for your brain is to have a routine just like when you get up to go to an office. However, it doesn’t have to be elaborate… Just enough to shift your brain from sleep mode to work mode.
As tempting as it is, don’t stay in your pajamas all day. On the contrary, adopt this Sample Routine: Wake up, wash up, put on clothes, eat/drink, then get to work
Pro Tip: If you want an extra boost of energy – add exercise to your routine to get the blood flowing to your brain, boost your mood, and overall immune health. Pick something you like to do and get your heart pumping for a bit.
2. Set Up a Dedicated Work Area
Pick a spot that allows you to sit comfortably as you work and minimize distractions for you and anyone you call or video conference. In a perfect world, you’re working in a home office with a desk and a door.
Since most of us live in the real world, that’s often not the case. It’s okay if you’re working on your laptop at your kitchen table or at a desk in your living room.
Pro Tip: If you do a lot of video meetings, pick a spot that has a nice backdrop (art, bookshelf or blank wall) and no views of the dirty dishes, laundry piles.
I know a colleague who lived in a city apartment and she would do all video calls in her walk-in closet for the backdrop and noise reduction.
3. Schedule Social Chats with Your Coworkers
All work and no chit-chat can make you grumpy. Perhaps, you are used to having coffee or tea breaks with your coworkers in the office.
Working from home can feel lonely.
A good option would be to schedule a daily 10-minute meeting at your standard snack time (10 am or 3 pm for many of us) and invite a coworker for a coffee chat.
You can talk about work or that TV show you both are obsessed with. Give yourself permission to connect with others working from home. Consequently, it will help you feel more connected and less stressed and lonely.
Pro Tip: Team leaders and office party organizers can boost morale with a group video call “hangout” to catch up with each other. Everyone can see each other, catch up and share something they learned or loved that week.
Create a routine, designate a work area and, most importantly, stay connected. I will close with an applicable quote:
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne
Are you struggling with working from home for the first time? Find out how Victoria can help you succeed in this new process.
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