If you’ve recently found yourself transitioning from in-office work to remote work, you are not alone! As you are navigating these new working conditions, here are five tips to help you to adjust to working from home:
1. Get to know your tools.
There are so many great tools to help you work remotely right now. Many are even offering free or discounted services during the coronavirus pandemic. Now is the time to test these premium tools while they are affordable. You may find that some aren’t worth your future money, while others are worth every penny. You may even find new ways of using these services once you’re back in the office. Here’s a list of five premium services for remote work that you can try for free to get you started.
2. Set realistic expectations and reach out.
If you’re just now getting acquainted with remote work, you may be experiencing increased productivity—or the exact opposite. Be aware that eight hours in an office doesn’t equate to eight hours locked in a room by yourself in terms of work output. Try to gauge your workday in terms of accomplishments instead of hours while also being honest with your employer about this. Figure out realistic expectations for yourself and be open with your team. There’s a good chance they’re going through similar challenges—they’ll probably have some good ideas to help you adapt.
3. Maintain balance in your non-work life.
When you change your whole work routine from in-office to remote work, you’re switching up more than your work life. It can impact all of your other routines as well. Examine your former in-office day-to-day routine and compare it with your new schedule. How have your work hours changed? Have those changes altered your sleep schedule? Do you eat more or less nutritious food now that you are home? Identify which changes are good (keep those) and which ones are detrimental to your health or productivity (revise those). Keep evaluating and adjusting your routine until your work and non-work routines feel balanced to you.
4. Let your space dictate the activity.
When you are doing so many different activities (think working, eating, exercising, and sleeping) in a single space, it can be exhausting. It generates a lot of clutter and mental disorganization, which can be stressful. By designating a separate space for each activity, you’ll have to physically get up and move to the next task. Plus, you won’t have to spend the time to clean up one activity to move to the next. For example, if you work at a desk instead of at the kitchen table, all of your work tools stay tidy on the desk instead of being sprawled all over the house. Designated physical spaces for each activity will automatically keep your space—and head—focused on the task at hand.
5. Be patient.
Change is hard for most people. Transplanting your entire work routine from the office to your apartment is a HUGE change. Accept that there’s going to be a learning curve. You may have some pretty frustrating situations to work through, but don’t discount the potential for this change to bring real benefits into your life either. Ease into it and see how it goes. Try to embrace this as a learning opportunity and see how your unique personality and talents complement or contrast this new working style. Take a deep breath, and be open to new possibilities.
Take heart! This is a great opportunity to explore this new setting and to see how your work-self enjoys it. With the right combination of tools, expectations, balance, space, and patience, you’ll be set up to succeed!