With the recent spike in severity and occurrence of COVID-19 in the United States, many organizations have temporarily transitioned to digital or remote offices. For the employees of these companies, that might mean working remotely for the first time. This transition can feel like starting a new job, as workers are expected to adjust immediately to a brand new routine and lifestyle. Here are some tips to make your time working remotely as productive and stress-free as possible.
Get the Best WiFi
Living in an apartment can mean you are at the mercy of your complex’s or landlord’s choice of internet provider. For many tenants, the biggest effect of this may simply be not being able to watch a specific show or get the package for your favorite sports league. But if you are a remote employee (even if just for the next month or so), having a reliable internet connection can be the difference between having a productive workday and wanting to rip your hair out.
To ensure your WiFi remains quick and connected all day long, there are a few steps you can take. First, you should find the optimal location in your home to place your router. If you don’t know where that should be, this article can help. After you have placed your router in the best spot available, you can opt to use an Ethernet cable to keep your connection secure, or, if you have stone walls or a large chimney, you could opt to purchase a WiFi extender or booster to make sure you don’t lose signal in the middle of your video meeting.
Keep a Monday-Friday Routine
Just as you have a workday routine when you are heading into the office, it is important that you form workday routines and habits that fit your lifestyle while you are working from home. For some people, this may be waking up at the same time as you would to accommodate your commute and getting an earlier start to your workday. For others, this could be taking a longer lunch break than you would in the office to squeeze in a mid-day walk or workout. Inc. magazine suggests making a breakfast routine and reading your emails while you enjoy your first meal of the day.
Designate an Office Space in Your Home
It can be tempting to bring your laptop to the couch in an attempt to work while catching up on Netflix, but this is rarely conducive for a productive workday. Just as you may work well in the office when you can drink coffee, put on a podcast, and sit down at your desk, this may be the most productive way for you to work from home, too.
Not everyone has a designated home office, but for a short period of time, your dining room table (which, let’s be honest, has become a dumping ground for mail, jackets, and keys) can be cleared off and used as a makeshift desk. If you don’t have much space to spare, Apartment Therapy has lots of inspiration for bedroom-office setups.
Make Time for Yourself
When working from home, it can be easy to find yourself becoming a workaholic. Worrying about potentially decreased productivity when you are in your home can create a vicious cycle of working extended hours, sacrificing your hobbies and self-care, and falling into a routine of never fully focusing, but also never stepping away from your computer.
If you like to exercise, you can still run outdoors as long as you maintain a healthy distance from others. If running is not your style, you can order resistance bands and follow along with a P.volve YouTube video for a grueling home workout. And if you are not a fitness fanatic, now is a great time to catch up on your ever-growing list of books to read, or to finally get around to repainting the trim on your house or mounting the TV on the wall like you’ve been planning to do for months.