As a result of the COVID-19 situation, millions of U.S.-based workers are now remote and may not know how to best manage their time and resources. Whether you’re a first-time remote worker or you’ve been working from home for years, you can always improve your processes. Follow these tips to make working from home feel more like your routine.
Stay in Communication
Communication is key to success in any role, but it’s especially important when you’re not physically with your coworkers or manager. Stay in touch with email check-ins, video conference calls, and instant messages. You may also want to provide daily or weekly wrap-up emails that outline what you’ve been working on and highlight any milestones or stalls in progress.
Use the Right Tools
No matter your role, you need the right tools to be able to work from home as efficiently and effectively as you do in the office. The main tools needed include a reliable Wi-Fi connection, a computer, and a workspace. A secondary screen, a set of noise-cancelling headphones, and a wireless keyboard or mouse can further improve your setup, but these items aren’t as critical to your success in most cases.
Determine Your Style
Your style of working impacts your ability to succeed as a newly remote employee. If you are in the habit of using your daily commute to prep for the workday, you may need to spend a few minutes doing so at home before you log into your computer. If the pre-work time is when you decompress and destress, start your day by watching your favorite TV show, savoring a cup of coffee, or taking in the view from your patio before you clock in.
The amount of noise around you may also factor into your work style. If your office is typically humming with background noise, a silent workspace could feel stifling. Try different setups to see how you like to work when you’re in your home.
When you’re surrounded by coworkers, breaks often come in the form of conversations. However, if you’re solo at home, you may find yourself working for hours at a time without giving yourself a minute to step away. Figure out whether you like a longer mid-day break or multiple quick breaks throughout your workday. It’s important to give yourself time away from your workspace to prevent becoming overloaded or burned out.
Care for Yourself
Between the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and the change to your normal life, you may be feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Don’t forget to practice self-care, an important aspect for every person, regardless of their work situation or position. Self-care may involve a regular fitness routine, preparing healthy meals and snacks, staying hydrated, or relaxing in a bubble bath at the end of a workday. No matter what helps you, make time to care for yourself and your well-being.
Use these tips to maximize your remote work setup and continue to take care of yourself and your needs. Remember – we’re all in this together and we will do what we can to get through the situation as best as possible.