Working From Home Best Practices

By Laura Mays, Director of HR & Employee Development   

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has very quickly become the new normal for a lot of us. For some, it’s convenient to skip the commute and jump right into a day’s work, for others, it may be a little uncomfortable and challenging to juggle a work-life balance. Here are a few tips to help keep you productive while working from a home office:

  • Maintain a routine. Keeping a usual routine helps us have a sense of control. Wake up and go to bed, as usual, eat healthy, manage work hours and take time for yourself every day as you do on normal workdays.
    • Remember to take lunch and rest breaks. You may even want to put a reminder on your calendar for this.
  • Dedicate a workplace. Even if you don’t have an office, set aside a specific place for you to work – ideally with a door that closes, as it will help you avoid distraction. As tempting as it sounds, don’t work from your couch! Couches are for leisure, make sure to separate work from leisure.
  • Keep your workout schedule. If you are accustomed to working out in a gym, find a way to do your workouts at home. Get creative – there are many workout videos on YouTube and gyms are offering classes via Zoom and other web streaming services.
  • Get outside. Fresh air and a brisk walk will clear your head and relieve stress. Just remember to maintain social distancing orders based on your location.
  • Over-communicate! It will help you from feeling isolated. Reach out to your colleagues. Simply asking, “How are you doing” goes a long way.
  • Use Microsoft Teams to host conference calls, screen sharing or to chat. Sharing your screen allows you to pick up speed when working with coworkers miles away. There are times when seeing, reacting and working on the same thing, in real-time, accelerates collaborative work.
    • Hint: If video conferencing, open your video camera only when you’re ready to be seen. Have a wall or non-descript backdrop so that your guests on the call don’t get distracted and focus on what is behind you, instead of what you’re presenting.

If we all work together, we can push through this unprecedented challenge.