Written by travel blogger Tiffany Ammerman
Many of us have made the transition to working from home during this global crisis and while some people are old hats at this type of work environment, some of us will need to drastically change our mindset on how work can work for us. It can be tempting to feel frustrated or lacking when we see other #WFH folks who seem to have it all together, but don’t fret! Keep in mind that everyone has their own personal way that works best for them when it comes to working from home.
Check out these tips to help improve your working-from-home balance and productivity!
Set Up Scheduled Work Hours
It can be easy to check your work email or do just one more task to get ready for tomorrow, but you need to respect your personal time and so do your work colleagues. Not allowing yourself to have some clearly defined working & non-working hours can cause some confusion for your co-workers or customers as to when you’re actually available. It’s important to create and maintain work/life boundaries, especially now!
Have a Dedicated Home Office
Creating a space in your house that you go to specifically to work can help you to feel more productive and less distracted. Even if you don’t have a spare room where you can shut the door and get things done, just having a special place at a table can put you in a mindset to work. During a time when few of us are commuting to work, going to your work space will make you feel as if you’ve 'gone' to work which can help you to feel productive and ready for the day. Try to keep that area nice and tidy and you’ll feel less stressed during this transition to home based work.
Allow Yourself Regular Breaks
Just as if you were really at the office, allow yourself to take breaks for lunch, coffee, etc. Not only can it be unhealthy to sit at a computer for a solid 8 hours, but you’ll feel less inclined to keep that schedule day in and day out if you burn yourself out in the first few days. Give yourself the time to get up, walk around, have lunch and have your coffee. While you might not necessarily get to take breaks with your favorite work buddy like you used to, you’ll still get to enjoy that dedicated downtime.
Keep Expectations Realistic
For the majority of us, working from home is very different from our typical work environment. It can be stressful to try to be just as productive or work in the exact same manner as before. Take some time to experiment with what works best for you- whether that means you change up your schedule, how much work you take on or even how you complete that work. Keeping realistic expectations in your mind for how you’re transitioning into this new work environment can help you to keep a positive outlook on this new situation.
Maintain Contact With Colleagues
During this time we need to put in extra effort to keep in contact with our co-workers. Sending some supportive texts or emails can help to build a feeling of partnership and community as well as to prevent loneliness from this lengthy period of isolation. Not only do we want to keep chatting with our work friends, but we also want to avoid having any work-related miscommunications. Working from home can be a far cry from our brick and mortar jobs, so do yourself and your colleagues a favor by making sure you have all of your bases covered by communicating effectively, clearly and often.
C O N C L U S I O N
One of the more important things to keep in mind during this period is that your job might not transition easily into working from home and it’s important to realize that. It’s okay to have moments of frustration. Utilize the guidance from your co-workers and bosses to help you navigate your way through this unprecedented time. We should lean on each other, feel free to ask questions, communicate more than usual and, don’t forget, give yourself a break here and there. It’s important to remember that you’re not necessarily working from home-you’re at home trying to work and there is a large difference. Hopefully you are well on your way to feeling more comfortable in this new work environment.
About the Author:
Georgia native Tiffany Ammerman is the thru-hiker and CrossFitter behind the travel blog The Goodish Traveler. She spends the majority of her time traveling, eating sushi and searching for hiking trails. When she's not blogging, Ammerman can be found training at CrossFit LaGrange and teaching art to kids.