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Work from home tips from someone who has been doing it for years
- Get dressed/have a morning routine – It is really tempting to be as lazy as possible but if you really want to work from home well get up on time (if not earlier). It helps signal to your brain that you are doing something different and there is some evidence that the “Dress well, test well” mantra of college students has some validity.
- Block out the distractions – Chome plugins like Stay Focused can help you block out common distractions like social media and youtube by forcing you to obey the limits you set for yourself.
- Communicate as much as possible – Our company has always been a remote one, but it is the practice within our culture to do remote meetings with tools like MS Teams or Gotomeeting. More than ever during the COVID-19 epidemic we are turning on our cameras to get as close as we can to face to face interaction. (another reason to get dressed)
- Don’t skip the small talk – More than ever we need to remember those connections that aren’t work-related that bring us together for hallway conversations. Especially when you are doing remote meetings it can be hard not to “Get right down to it” but we all need that real human connection, so allow time for it or make time for it.
- Set ground rules with people at home – We are all adjusting to the new normal of kids wandering into conference calls, but setting ground rules where possible can be super helpful. My kids are old enough to know if they open the door to my office and the earbuds to my PC are in my ears I’m probably in a meeting and if there are faces on the screen then unless it is an emergency close the door. My wife knows to text me to see if I am free so she doesn’t disturb my workflow. It is just a nice courtesy to keep me focused.
- Get OUT! – Weather permitting get outside and take a break. No one will see but you will feel all the difference UV light, and fresh air can make. Your health has to come first.
- End your day with a routine – Normally your commute does this for you so you may need to create a pattern to signal to your brain that it is time to head back to family life. Closeout of messengers, Say goodbye, take a walk, do yoga or listen to your favorite podcast
There are a ton more but these are the ones that have kept me focused in my years working from home and have become especially more important during this stressful time. What works for me may not work for you so let me ask, what are your best work from home tips put them in the comments.