Working from home for the first time may and will feel awkward. We used to go to the train station, get our morning coffee on the way, read the newspaper or listen to our favourite podcast. It’s been taken away. We open our laptop and work is supposed to flow. However, even getting to sit in from of laptop seems difficult, there is no buffer and preparation time. In theory, we have more time, but on the other head we feel like time is shrinking. We even struggle to keep up on what day is today. Is there any first aid for work from home situation? There are many good resources in the webs, I am going to share what is essential for me. Check it out, experiment and see if something work for you.
Create healthy habits 🤸♀️
Work from home is a new situation for many of us. As usual, when we try to implement something new, we will require a bit of experimenting, trying and in the end, trick our brains that the new – is the usual. Routine is the keyword here.
It all starts with the new day. Keep your morning routine. if needed, modify or create a new one. I added one point to my morning routine. I have breakfast with all the family, especially that nowadays I don’t need to rush anywhere.
What is essential here is to feel in control. Routine will help in this feeling. Especially a morning routine, to kickstart your working day. We used to do what we want, buy what we want, go whenever and wherever we want. It is now taken away. It all adds up anxiety caused by COVID-19 itself. Feeling we are in control will help to reduce some this stress.
Here are some tips that work for me. This is my first aid for work from home. Check it, experiment and see if something work for you.
Morning routine 🌇
- set up an alarm clock for earlier in the morning,
- wake up and try not to hit the snooze button,
- do some exercises – I recommend 7-minute workout – easy to do at home environment,
- take a shower and finish with a cold shower challenge (it is a true reset for the nervous system),
- mediate, pray, journal – spend some time with your best friend – yourself!
- have a coffee, prepare breakfast for your family.
Evening routine 🌃
- define the two most significant task for tomorrow, it will help you to start your working day,
- communicate with your team that you’re off the shift – it will set the expectation,
- set up your communicator in DND or away mode,
- try to read, watch or listen to something not work-related for 5-10 minutes, it will help your brain to switch to home context.
Work environment 🛋
- if possible have a separate place where you set up your work environment,
- use work laptop to do work, leave it in the workspace when you switch to “home mode”,
- keep it clean and tidy – this is note mainly to myself, but I know some folks may have the same issue – no one is watching 🙂
- don’t go ballistic when someone from your household breaches your work parameters; it’s fine to have a kid in your video, or just cancel video altogether, it’s fine to excuse your coworkers if you need to step out for a moment.
Keep fit 🏋️♀️
This aspect is vital. You are passionate about what you do, and like many of us, you are genuinely dedicated to our mission. But now you need to work from home. You try to set up our “work from home” environment. In the best-case scenario, it is somewhere upstairs, so at least you need to climb a few stairs.
There is not that many coffee breaks, people will not distrust you. You sit in front of computer for a long time. Walking to the nearest station is no more necessary. You are basically less active.
There is also another thing for people who just started working remotely. There is a natural tendency to kind of prove ourselves that we are working more than expected. Whether it is couscous or not, we tend to work more while working outside our usual work environment.
Here are some tips from my first aid for work from home, that I’m trying to implement to stay fit:
- create a morning routine that includes exercise,
- do regular breaks – try Pomodoro technic – do check of work that last for 20-30 minutes, have a break,
- while taking breaks, at least stand up, do some stretching, walk a bit,
- take full-time lunch,
- walk at least 10k steps a day,
- check if you can do some work while standing,
- have healthy snacks in regular basis – your brain need fuel,
- have plenty of liquids – do not forget to drink.
Asynchronous versus synchronous work 🕰 🖥
Take advantage of the ability of working asynchronously. What does it mean?
It basically means – you can work on some things on your own time.
However, before you disappear, it is good to meet with your team and work on team agreement on how you update the progress of work that you provide.
Do your job to the best of your ability. No one expect you to be fully efficient and productive. Do your best. Find some quiet time. Complete as much as possible.
Update agreed channel. Wheatear it is Webex Teams, hand-over document or another way of letting your team know what the status is, do you need anything from them, what are the next steps.
Take some time and try to review what is on your plate. Comment a ticket that is assigned to you. Move that Trello card. Write a note on hand-over doc. Assume that someone else may need to pick up what you have started.
This is especially important now.
Working from home with kids and your partner at home is challenging. Take it easy. Do your best. Communication is the key. Be honest with yourself and your team when you can or cannot entirely focus on stuff at hand.
What is your experience in working from home journey? Do you have any struggles? What items do you have in your first aid for work from home?