Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are now working from home. This wasn’t something that we planned for and we didn’t have a lot of time to determine how we should do it. On top of that, our kids are not going to school and your spouse may also be working from home. This can create a lot of chaos in your home. Here are 10 tips that can help you navigate telecommuting.
- Separate your work life from your home life. Identify an appropriate workspace in your home. You may not need a full room, but make sure your space is quiet and away from distractions like the television. With everyone working and studying from home now, this may be difficult –especially if you have a small living space. Do the best that you can to separate your space from others working and studying at home. Treat your home office like it’s your real office.
- Get ready for work. It may be tempting to lounge around in your pajamas all day, but experts recommend that you shower and get dressed just like you were going into the office. With the number of video conferences you could have, this is especially important. You want to project your professionalism and it might just help you get into work mode more easily.
- Establish office hours. A common mistake for at-home workers is working too much. Without a commute, it can be hard to break away and call it a day. It’s also easy to think of something new and before you know it, you’re back in your office working on a new project. If you have an office, shut the door at the end of the day and if your office is at the dining room table, put your computer away. These small things can help you keep office hours more easily.
- Good internet connection. With everyone in your family now working and studying from home, it may be time to upgrade your internet connection. You can also sit closer to the router or get a system that will disperse your WIFI signal throughout the house. If those aren’t options, you can also rely on your phone’s hotspot to gain connectivity.
- Keep your lines of communication open. There are so many ways to stay connected to your team these days. You can instant message your co-workers with quick questions to keep emails to a minimum or use your webcam for face-to-face meetings. It’s very easy to have face-to-face meetings through many different applications such as Facetime, Microsoft Teams or Skype.
- Identify what needs to get done every day. Plan your work assignments. It can be easy to get distracted at home. Know what needs to get done every day. Review your list at the end of the day to assess your progress. You need to treat your deadlines exactly like you would have in the office.
- Pretend you’re not home. Don’t answer your home phone or doorbell. Let your family and friends know that this is work time even though you may be at home. If you eliminate distractions, it’s easier to stay on task and turn in assignments in a timely manner.
- Stay out of the kitchen. You don’t want to gain the freshmen 15 again. It’s so easy to open the fridge and mindlessly snack all day. You need to establish the discipline to stay on task and away from constant snacking. That discipline will also help you kick-out friends that stop by when you are working.
- Invest in noise canceling headphones or earbuds. You may want to have a pair of noise canceling earbuds. You don’t want someone calling out to you or the doorbell ringing during your meetings. Your earbuds will also help you talk hands-free.
- Check in with your co-workers and boss. You may already be doing this because you want everyone in your office to know that you’re really working instead of binging your favorite television show. It’s still a good practice to touch base several times a day. Remember when you were actually in the office how many times you spoke to each other.
We hope these tips will help you adapt to telecommuting even if it is only during this pandemic. Most of our team at Outlook Business Solutions are telecommuters and we’d be happy to visit with you about telecommuting. We’re also here to help you with your marketing needs. Contact Outlook Business Solutions to find out how we can help you maximize your marketing budget during this pandemic.