By Ryan Dunfee
Working from home for the first time due to the coronaviris? Here are a few tips from a seasoned remote worker that could help.
- Do not work from your bedroom in your pajamas. Set up a clean, intentional office space somewhere outside your bedroom, even if it’s just the kitchen table. Your dress, location, and intentionality will impact your mental focus and productivity.
- If you’re used to more formal wear at the office, don’t dress down completely. Even though my office has no dress code, I find it changes my attitude and my self-image if I’m wearing a button down and decent shoes, even if I’m working from home. Slippers and sweatpants will not help you get into the right state of mind to take your work seriously.
- The physical movement of the morning commute helps move the juices around, wake up the body, and get the brain activated. Work out, get out for a walk, get a few minutes of fresh air outside before you get underway.
- You now need to create some of the productive aspects of structure that an office provides. Set clear expectations for yourself about when you’ll start and stop working. Use your calendar to schedule professional as well as personal appointments, errands, etc. Setting expectations (and boundaries) for yourself and others is an essential part of working from home successfully.
- If you’re having to switch to virtual meetings, please, for the love of Peter, use video conferencing. Use Google Hangouts, or Zoom, and turn your cameras on and unmute yourselves so everyone feels the team is actually present and not, ya know, doing laundry. Everyone off mute starts to get harder if you have more than 10-12 people though. Recommend muting non-speakers and using a “stack” system in the comments (better yet, a progressive stack — Google it!) for bigger meetings.
- On that note, even if you’re not supposed to be meeting people face-to-face, small doses of social interaction are huge for making working from home successful. It’s a great week to be scheduling a call to your parents, friends, etc. just to catch up.
- If this is going to be the picture at work for the forseeable future, it’s a great time to invest in a separate monitor and stand that you can set up so you’re looking straight at the screen when seated and not hunched over staring into your lap. Also a great time to pick up a standing desk.