Working from home (WFH) for this many weeks in a row is not something that I have done too often in my career. First as a lawyer, and now as a Senator, working from home never seemed like the most sensible way of working. Still today, for lots of people or businesses it may not be the most sensible way of working. However, with the spread of Covid-19 effecting and spreading to more than 150 countries, people have no choice. By working from home during this pandemic, you will not only be protecting yourself but also protecting your community and the vulnerable people that may be around you.
I know that WFH for this long can be extremely challenging at times. However, over the past couple of weeks I have heard many tips and tricks from friends and colleagues about how to make working from home much easier.
It is very important to continue the same morning routine that you would if you were heading to the office. Waking up at the same time and getting dressed out of your pajamas are the first two things that you should do to keep up with your morning working routine. Secondly, a good way to get yourself ready for your work from home day is too spend the time that you would commuting to the office, doing something good for yourself. Going for a walk outside, reading a couple of pages of a book, or even making yourself a more elaborate breakfast for yourself than usual can bring some joy to your day.
The second tip to make working from home a little bit easier is to make sure that you create boundaries and ensure that you have some structure. For me this means that I work from one specific place in my house. This place can be wherever you feel most comfortable but, also where you can be the most productive. Boundaries can also include time-based boundaries. Be sure that you are working within the hours that you have scheduled for yourself and not working more than you can handle just because the work is always with you. The second part to this tip includes breaking your day up into a way that makes it easiest for you. Whether this means designating specific times for tasks or making a do-to list for those tasks is up to you but, it is a good way to make sure you get work done.
Taking appropriate breaks is most important for your mental health when working from home. Making sure that you are taking breaks to eat, get some exercise, call a friend or relative, or even just taking a step back from the computer for a couple minutes can help you to be sure that you’re not over working yourself just because you have the work in front of you.
Lastly, be sure to limit the amount of distractions that could come up. Things like, turning off the TV and only checking the news periodically or turning off social media notifications and designating specific times to check your phone can be help limit the number of times you get distracted from the work you should be doing and can help increase productivity.
Working from home can be a challenge for many people. Whether you live alone, with kids, or are just used to being outside of the house often, working from home can present many obstacles. There are many different tips to find out how working from home best works for you but, I know how hard it can be. If you are having a hard time please remember that there are resources available to you.