Recently made the transition to work from home in the wake of Coronavirus?
Whilst this is nothing new, it can feel completely alien to lose colleague contact and work day routine. The following tips will make it a little easier to change your routines from in-office, to working remotely.
Get ready for work
Keep the routine you had. If you were getting up at 7AM, heading to the gym, and making it into the office for 8.30AM with a coffee, keep that going. Maintaining routine will help you stay on track - especially now you're working remotely from a place you typically associate with relaxing.
Set up your home office
This means a separate part of your home wherein you can work comfortably. This should include an ergonomic desk set up, low noise pollution (if you can help it) and natural daylight. Working from your kitchen table, or worse, your bed, is likely to lead you associating work with everyday habits - truly crossing the line of work life balance.
Get ready for video calls
With no face time, video helps develop interactions between you and colleagues beyond phone calls. Make sure your background is somewhat clear (no crazy posters, and no blinding daylight), ensure your microphone works, and that you won't be interrupted.
New to video? Here's how to set up a Google Hangout Meeting (with video). Zoom is also popular, but you'll need to pay for calls over 40 minutes long.
Learn how to self-manage
No one is here to remind you of your deadlines, and it's far too easy to get sucked into smaller tasks that feel productive - but don't accomplish much for your weekly goals. In the same way you've compartmentalized for your home office, segment different types of work throughout the week.
Mondays and Tuesdays might tend to be meeting-heavy, so stick to lighter, interactive work that requires feedback from team members then. You might be able to use your free schedule to your advantage, using the early hours to get deep, undisturbed work accomplished, so you're ready to slot into 'normal' work when everyone is online.
Get your remote work communications set up
You can no longer tap your colleague on the shoulder to take a look at something, and it can feel forced when you start typing all requests. However, this is completely normal, and if anything, it should be encouraged. When you don't spend time with people, you can't notice subtle cues from body language, and you're likely to overthink (or forget) the questions that might have come up over lunch. Over communicate, and get familiar with Slack.
Make a new 'commute'
No equipment? Walking, running and yoga are all free, and get you into the same headspace.
Change up your working environment
There's a reason you see so many people hunched over laptops in coffee shops, and it's not just the flat whites on tap. It helps break up your work day, and if you can continue visiting that one coffee shop or coworking space, it'll start to form a habit for you. It becomes the space where you're productive.
There's no way to see who is leaving the office first, and it's easy to continue working into the night. If you can set boundaries around your work day, you're likely to be far more productive in your working hours, knowing you have a 'deadline' to finish by.
Looking for more information on working from home? Try these tips for building a productive remote work routine.