What happens when the lines between work life and home life become blurred? It’s a question many of us are facing as we practice social distancing and the art of working from home.
Home invites natural distractions – the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, the laundry needs to be folded, the kids need to learn geometry (gulp), the dog needs to be walked. Or perhaps you’re the type of person who responds to work emails way beyond normal office hours and finds herself working into the wee hours of the morning. Wherever you are on the spectrum, it’s important to find a healthy balance - for your sanity and the sanity of those around you.
As we spend more and more time indoors this month, we wanted to share a few ways you can take advantage of being home. Here are a few practical tips to get you started every day.
1. Rise and Shine
Set your normal alarm. Since your commute has been commuted (did you see what I did there?), you have more time to make a decent breakfast, exercise, and listen to an inspiring podcast. However you choose to use that extra time in the morning, be sure to wake up when you normally would. It’ll be easier to follow your regular routine when you give yourself the time to ease into your day.
2. PJs Are For Weekends
While the occasional pajama day may be acceptable, you should stick to your routine of getting dressed for work every morning. No, you don’t need to put on your business best, but you should wear something that’s acceptable for your boss, clients, or colleagues should you need to do a spontaneous video conference.
3. Have a Dedicated Work Space
Merging your work life into your personal life is inevitable. However, try designating an area of your home for work. If you are going to conduct business from the couch, invest in a laptop desk or side table where you can easily access your work tools. Otherwise, try to find a quiet, low-traffic place where you can recreate elements of your actual work station. If you have a home office, be sure to set boundaries with other members of the household and remind the humans, as well as your attention grabby pets, that this is a work-only zone.
4. Take Breaks
Work-a-holics, listen up. Just like you are supposed to do on the daily, give yourself a midday break to decompress from the morning’s business. Eat lunch, read a chapter of a book, or take the dog out for a walk. At the end of the day, allow yourself to fully recharge by signing off and keeping the dings, bells, and Slack whistles to a minimum.
Now, more than ever, we feel the pressure to be constantly connected, whether it be to our family, friends, or the news. Set aside specific times to address social media notifications and take some time away from the endless news cycle.
5. Start Spring Cleaning Early
There’s no time like the present to get ahead on spring cleaning. With many of us working from home these days, it’s important to show your space a little love by deep cleaning the bathrooms, kitchen, and common areas. Be sure to clean less obvious places such as light switches, doorknobs, remote controls, and phones.
And above all, remember, communication is key during a time like this, so keep the dialogue open with your colleagues, family, and friends on how you are feeling and any challenges you are facing. Check out our top choices for work-from-home tools.
Please remember to stay safe and be kind to those around you.