Many of us around the world now are mandated in some fashion by our local, state and or federal governments to “stay home.” This means many of us will work from home for the very first time. Companies that previously did not have work from home policies, are quickly finding ways to keep their employees working and productive. Not all industries of course can work from home, but for those that can, there are a few key things to ensure your success.
I have worked from home off and on through my corporate career. I share the tips below with you because it’s so new to so many. Working from home sounds fun, until it’s mandatory.
Work From Home Rules To Live By:
- Set and keep a routine – it’s important to maintain a sense of normalcy, even in our ever changing world. Routine keeps us consistent, and will provide a greater transition into the new, albeit temporary, normal.
- Get showered and dressed (put shoes on) as if you were going into the office on “Casual Friday” – this is really important. There have been studies that show how you dress actually impacts how you feel and how you interact with others. Look your best, feel your best, be your best.
- Schedule as if you were in the office – keep a set schedule. This is especially important if you have kids in the house, kids thrive on routine and their world has been turned upside down in this as well. Post the schedule where everyone can see it (not necessarily with all your work appointments), remember to put breaks in it for you and the kiddos.
- Have a defined start and stop to the day – When working from home, it’s really easy to check your laptop during times you normally wouldn’t when you work in an office. During this trying time it is equally important to have family time. Know when your day begins for work and when it ends.
- Have a defined space for work – It’s tempting to work at the kitchen table, but that means when it’s time to eat, you’re having to move work to accommodate family. It doesn’t have to be a big space – get a “TV tray” or a dresser / chest that for now can be “your workspace.” This also will allow you to “walk away from work, when it’s time to do so.”
- Don’t isolate, but social distance – That may sound conflicting. It’s important, especially for those that don’t have family members that live in your home, to make sure you’re not losing social contact. As humans this is vitally important. It doesn’t mean however to have people over. This week I hosted our first Virtual Girls Happy Hour using a web conferencing tool. It’s nice to have some “down time” and check in with one another. You can do this as well for lunch with colleagues during your workday! If you’re used to having lunch with someone, keep that routine going.
- Do take breaks, Don’t do housework – this is common for people that haven’t worked from home before. Between calls it seems like a really good idea to toss in a load of laundry, or prep for dinner, try to restrain yourself from doing so. It’s important again to maintain routine. When you go back to your office – can you do laundry between meetings? It also modifies your mindset. Switching back and forth from work-life to home-life plays havoc with your mindset. Need ideas for your breaks? Think about how you take a break at the office! Stand up, look out the window, walk outside – fresh air is great for you. Get a coffee / water or other beverage of choice, video chat a co-worker.
- Monitor your meals / food intake – Sounds weird doesn’t it? It’s too easy to access the fridge while on a call (especially if you’re working in the kitchen), resist the temptation. If you are not typically a snacker – don’t start, you’ll thank me later.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to stay sane when working from home, it’s a good start-up guide. Want more tips, or have tips to share, feel free to email us LMECK@DecoratingDen.com. We’d love to hear from you.
Now for some design fun – creating spaces that “work with you when working from home”
If you don’t have a designated office, it’s okay, just try to designate your “workspace” area. If you have children (or a significant other) as you set up to work from home, make the designation clear, this is your work from home space. Turn a sofa table into your desk.
Don’t try to over-complicate it, keep things simple and find ways to incorporate workspace into your space. Many of you have children at home. It’s hard to resist the kiddos being with you, but you have to try, you actually still have work to do. Find a project or activity they can do next to you, allowing you to be more productive. This is where your ability to plan and schedule will be critical. Not only are you building your schedule, but a schedule for the others in your life.
More than one person at home, working from home? Be sure each of you has a designated workspace. It’s ideal if you can have separate space, but that’s not always realistic. For calls you may have to each step away to avoid distraction, but working on projects or reports, it can be fun working together– think of it as having a “new co-worker” and refrain from talking about personal things during your work hours.
Still not sure how to make your space work? We are now offering virtual design appointments for space planning, color selection and a variety of other areas, feel free to reach out!
Finally, stay safe, check in on one another, be responsible in social distancing and let’s all help each other get back to life as we knew it “before Covid-19.”
We are now offering virtual design appointments for space planning, color selection and a variety of other areas, feel free to reach out!
Cornerstone Design Partners, a Decorating Den Interiors Franchise, never charges for an initial consultation – so, what are you waiting for? Check us out today by visiting our website www.cornerstone.decoratingden.com
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Cornerstone Design Partners, a Decorating Den Interiors Franchise, has partnered with Together We Own It! – a 501 © 3 non-profit ensuring kids have what they need to be successful. If you’d like to donate or learn how you can help the kids in your community, you can reach out to us or them directly www.togetherweownit.org.