Working from home during Covid-19.
Working from home is awesome … right up until the cat throws up on your computer. And your neighbor, who you can only assume is building a time machine, starts firing up all sorts of power tools and noisy machinery across the street.
For many modern professionals, working from home every once in a while is a luxury that our respective companies afford us. But which environment actually allows us to be more productive: the home office or the office office?
In the office office, your coworkers often pose the greatest threat to keeping you from getting some real, heads-down work done. They drop by your desk, engage you in conversation, and invite you to lunch. The social benefits of a workplace are definitely nice to have, but they can become a challenge if you’re easily distracted.
At the home office, however, I find that it’s easy for you to become your own worst enemy. Because when you’re not surrounded by coworkers, you’re free to drop those pesky inhibitions. At the home office, no one’s watching. You don’t necessarily feel that same peer pressure or communal obligation to get stuff done. (Also: You don’t have to wear pants.)
So, it isn’t exactly as we’d all dreamed with partners and kids sharing the same space. You might be taking charge of homeschooling your children on top of working, not to mention cohabiting a space with your partner.
Here are some tips on making your new home working situation… work!
1. Become a creature of habit.
Set a schedule and stick to it! Work regular hours and set times for work, kids, exercise, housework and relaxation. Try to use the same schedule daily so the entire family falls into a routine.
2. Set ground rules.
Set realistic expectations with your colleagues and family. You can’t be everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. Communicate your schedule with colleagues and family so they know what time you have dedicated to work, schooling or play. Ground rules will protect you from being pulled in every direction.
3. Move it!
It’s easy to become sedentary when you work from home. For your mental and physical health, schedule in daily activity. There are many options for fitness outside gyms and yoga studios. Grab a yoga mat and get online for some brilliant yoga and pilates classes. Get outside with the kids and jump on the trampoline or walk the dog.
4. Get the right gear.
If you’ve previously worked in an office, you probably take for granted the resources at your fingertips. Make a list of the things you need and either buy or rent them for your home office. Ergonomics are important so it’s worth investing in a good desk, chair and computer stand. For efficiency (and your sanity) it’s important to have the right tech on hand. An earpiece to save you holding a mobile to your head. A printer. A laptop.
With some planning and dedication you can make this work, being productive, efficient and enjoying your time with your families.