Working from home has gone from an occasional luxury to a compulsory necessity. Adding to the complexity, many employees are working remotely while balancing the challenges of having school-aged children at home. As stay-at-home orders extend, it’s important to be intentional to implement patterns that will keep you sane and successful as you work from home. We’ve found four keys to a productive working from home strategy:
Create a schedule and a space. The open-endedness of days and weeks at home can thwart productivity. Create rhythms that facilitate working. Define a specific space where you will check-in to work each morning and can set aside work in the evening. Plan a schedule with a start and end time to keep your work time focused and contained.
Dress for success. While you can work all day in your pajamas, we don’t recommend it. Not only will getting up and dressed like you are going to the office help you mentally engage with the workday, but it will prevent you from having an unfortunate video-conferencing mishap when your coworkers spy the gym shorts you’ve paired with your blouse and blazer.
Connect with coworkers. Working from home means a lot of solitary time. This can have negative ramifications both for your mental health and for team cohesion. Make a point to reach out to your coworkers, whether that’s through a team slack channel, extra emails, or a virtual happy hour.
Be honest about limitations. Adjusted expectations are key for navigating this disrupted time. Having an honest conversation with your supervisor about the challenges you anticipate as you work from home. That could be anything from managing children who are home to technology difficulties. Approach the conversation with an attitude that seeks to be open and find solutions. An honest, collaborative tone will help you and your boss navigate this time together.