14 Helpful Tips For Working From Home While Social Distancing
We expect a lot of people are now working from home due to the CDC social distancing recommendations, so we developed this guide to help you stay productive, motivated, and organized at home during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Successful Work From Home Tips
Working from home might sound like it’s all fun and games… until you’re actually working from home. The kids need attention, the pile of laundry beckons, and you’re still in yesterday’s sweatpants because, well, why not? That’s just one example, no matter what remote situation you find yourself in, these tips can help!
We’ve broken this into 3 sections:
1. Tips for Working
A good home office setup can help you stay focused and be more productive.
- Have a separate room to work in. This helps avoid distraction, and allows quiet, focused, work. If this isn’t possible, try to at least create an isolated space that will allow you to get into the zone.
- Create a morning routine. This allows consistency and reliability in your workday.
- Use video calling instead phone calls to keep things more personal. This helps if you’re used to quality face to face interactions.
- Over-communicate. With working from home, there’s minimal visibility. It’s too easy for people to doubt your work ethic if you aren’t on top of your meetings/messages/emails. Any delays can cause people to doubt your focus while working from home.
2. Tips For Managing Your Work From Home Schedule
- Get dressed and ready for the day as you would if you were going to the office. This brings freshness and a solid start to the workday.
- Try to schedule calls in the afternoon. Morning is the most productive time of the day. If you have calls in the morning and manual work in the afternoon, it can often be challenging to stay focused on the tasks at hand following a morning packed with calls.
- Schedule breaks. This will allow you to utilize time being at home, and step away from work. Replace walking to the soda machine with a walk to the kitchen and say hi to roommates/family.
- Work your regular hours. Don’t be flexible, it will cause inefficiency.
- Don’t lay down! It’s too easy to sleep, get lazy, or avoid work all together.
- Get some exercise in. It’s too easy to go from bed, to chair, to couch. To chair, to bed… Not getting out of the house limits mobility and motivation, so be sure to try and dedicate at least 20-30 minutes of exercise! (There’s been a surge in platforms offering free at-home workout classes, they’re just a Google or YouTube search away.)
3. Tips for Managing Housemates While Working From Home
Scheduling time for family while working from home can help manage their expectations.
- With COVID-19 (Corona Virus), practice social distancing, but try to get fresh air occasionally. A short walk outside during a break can work wonders.
- If you have kids, say goodbye to them in the morning before you enter your home office (or make-shift living room desk) to help them understand the separation.
- Set clear boundaries with those you will be at the house with. Let them know you have calls at a certain time, or work from this time to that time. This minimizes interruptions. (With young kids it may be harder for them to separate work from home, so schedule in some play time if you can!)
- With that being said, be prepared for interruptions. With other individuals in your household, you will most likely be asked favors/questions/yelled at/etc. Communicate with your team or colleagues that this may occur so that it doesn’t come as a surprise. (We’re all in this social-distancing situation together, so they should be understanding!)
We collected these tips from our own XANT team based on what’s been working well for us! We’re more productive because we’ve been following this advice, and we hope you find it helpful too.