Working from Home – Our New Realities

Author Bio

Author Bio

Working from home - ways to stay productive.

Covid-19 is changing our communities and the way people work and live. Working from home is new to many people – at least for more than the occasional day - but there are ways to stay productive and overcome cabin fever.

According to LinkedIn, “remote working” has tripled in searches since January 2020. Employees and managers are increasingly looking for advice on how to navigate our new realities. I commuted for 10+ years until three years ago when my husband and I decided to move from New York to Philadelphia. I was lucky enough to be able to stay with Confirmit, and continue the majority of my work remotely. In the beginning, I commuted into the office about once a week but over the years, I officially became a 100% remote employee. There was a lot to figure out but I have found a routine that works for me and the company, and hoping some of my tips will help you during this difficult time.

Stick with your routine…sort of

Continue to set your alarm and wake up early. Take a shower and get dressed as if you’re going into the office. Your outfit choices can certainly be more casual but making a conscious effort to “get dressed” will immediately put your brain into work mode. Video is a big part of remote working now and looking the part not only helps your brain get into gear, but ensures you still look like the professional you are. You probably didn’t go to the office in PJs so avoid it at home too.

A major perk of working from home is not having to deal with a commute. Use your commute time for yourself. For me, not having a 4 hour commute each day (yes, that is how long it took me to get to and from work when I lived in NY) allowed me to do things that I never had a chance to do. Something as simple as coffee was on the go. Sit down and take 5 minutes to yourself. Maybe use this time to get a few small chores done or do a few stretches – it’s great to get a few things of your to-do list and reduces the temptation to drift away from your work when you are trying to focus.

Have a dedicated work area

You don’t need a home office or a huge desk. Create a dedicated “office” space that’s not your bed to separate between work and home. It can be a kitchen table, a desk in the corner of your bedroom or even a corner of your kitchen counter. And when your work day ends, put away your work equipment and change into your evening or lounge clothes to help signal the shift to personal time.

Up your technology game

Always emailing people instead of calling for questions? Pick up the phone. Scheduling a conference call? Use video over standard conference call. Ensure you’re using technology to create an interaction and avoid loneliness. Maintaining “visibility” to your teams and management is very important. When you don’t have face time on a regular basis you can risk being overlooked.

Be Empathetic

Finally, we are in unchartered territory and dealing with something completely new in our lifetime.  Everyone is impacted and our decisions affect everyone around us. We need to be supportive and understanding. Schools are closed which means kids are home during work hours. Pets are unpredictable and could be excited that their humans are home. Instead of reprimanding your employees for a dog barking or a child asking a parent something during a meeting, tell them you understand, laugh it off and support each other. And if you need a bit of humor here’s one of my favorite working from home bloopers.