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5-Tips for Working from Home


Annnnnd commence *freak out*. Our world has seen more changes in the last week than years combined. Yet, we are ever adapting and for the first time in history businesses and companies are doing things online that we never thought possible. It's impressive, really.

Just this week, I saw that a private school in my area is converting to virtual-learning for the remainder of the year. All teachers (bless them) are trading out their traditional lesson plans for tech-savvy alternatives. How cool?! Granted, who knows how this will all work out in the end but for now, I'm just amazed at the adaptability of our world. I'm hoping and praying that some good comes out of this and maybe, just maybe, more companies will realize that times are changing and employees CAN be trusted to work from home and possibly even get more work done than when at the office.

Now that my pro-tech era millennial Ted Talk is done... here's my tips on working from home, something I've done for years and feel confident speaking on!

1. Make yourself get up based (reasonably) on your regular hours. Of course, it's not crazy to sleep in an extra 30 minutes or so but it really won't help your productivity or energy levels to sleep in until 11:00am. Getting up really isn't so bad when you can work from comfy clothes, anyway!

2. Time-block out your day and include time for breaks. Breaks are important. We take breaks all the time in traditional offices, we just don't call them designated "breaks". In every office I've ever worked in "chat-breaks" with other employees were normal and seemed to happen when employees just needed a moment away from the screens. Normal.

So, be sure to add some breaks into your day if you're working from home. I guarantee no employer expects you to work straight through an 8-hour day at-home. I usually work from 9:00am-12:30pm then take a break for lunch and sometimes work-out during this time, as well. In total, that probably ends up being around a 1.5-2 hour break, then I continue working from 2:30pm-5:30pm or so. This works for me, but of course, it's personal.

3. SET ALARMS!! This is one of my favorite WFH hacks. A bit ironic to say... but you need your phone in order to designate "no phone" time. LOL. Here's the deal, it's hard to separate work-time and personal-time when working from your own living room, so, to combat this I've always set timers on my phone. For example: I will set a 45-minute timer and leave my phone in another room on DO NOT DISTURB. I will commit to 45 straight minutes of uninterrupted work during this time. This is much easier than forcing myself not to look at the notification I just saw/heard pop up.

4. If you AND your partner are working from home at the same time you may want to buy a different house. (I kid, I kid). But really, it's important that you and your partner designate separate unofficial office spaces. Having your partner near while trying to work is difficult and in my experience, it takes longer to complete tasks due to distraction. Create separate spaces, and designate time to "re-connect" like during your mid-day break for lunch or a quick workout. Also- treat each other professionally, at least to the extent that you are taking each others work seriously and not hindering their ability to complete their tasks in a timely manner.

5. Don't stress. Working from home is an adjustment for anyone. Your employer (most) is not worrying that you're taking advantage of the company. Trust me, it can feel like your employer isn't noticing how much work you're completing and you may even feel the urge to "prove" that you are. This is not necessary, just get your work done, act responsibly, and have faith that your employer trusts you to do what you need to in order to complete your tasks (I mean, they did hire you!). Try to enjoy some of this freedom and don't be afraid to do your laundry while you're at home, it's really not a big deal! ;)

I'm wishing all new WFH-ers the best. I'll be thinking of everyone during this time and hopefully we'll be on the other side of this Covid-19 mess soon!

Until next time,

xoxo,

N


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