It’s been a while since COVID-19 came crashing into our lives. For most of us, we now work from home. And, while some companies were already promoting the idea of telecommuting before the pandemic hit, many of us are still uncomfortable with the change. For some, working remotely is more than a location change. Many have lost jobs and are having to start new home-based businesses. Either way, as much as we hate to admit it, most of us actually like routine of leaving for work each morning. Some even enjoy the commute!
Working remotely can be a good thing. Technology allows us to stay connected regardless of where we are based—and this lowers costs for both sides of the employer/employee relationship. Now that the coronavirus pandemic has given many of us a forced taste of working remotely, we may find an even greater push for this trend moving forward.
While working from home may sound like a dream come true, it does have its drawbacks. For one, it requires discipline. Having the comforts of home in close proximity can be a real distraction. Because of this, productivity and time management can pay the price. Also, with spouses at home, kids out of school, and pets needing attention, it can be very tough to stay on task.
If you’re like me, your “home office” is a small room with a pile of bills and miscellaneous paperwork stacked up on a desk. The first thing we us do is to reclaim and declutter that space. Create a space at looks and feels like your ideal office. Make sure you have the equipment and supplies you need and set boundaries with your family members. When you are in the workspace, they need to understand you are “at work” and cannot be disturbed with day-to-day family issues as if you were sitting on the couch after dinner. And, remember, you need to set these same boundaries for yourself too!
GET SET UP
Assess the Space
Is your workspace in a quiet setting? What kind of distractions might you encounter? Think strategically.
Make it your Own
Personalize it just like your “real” office. Include plants, a coffee machine, or that family photo on your desk.
Get Down to Business
Keep your routines. Wake up early, eat a normal breakfast, and dress accordingly. No pajama workdays!
Keep on Task
Start small and be specific with time management, goals, and tasks. And stay away from the TV news!
You are working remotely, but don’t disappear! Use technology to stay visible and responsive to colleagues and customers.