Before you’d ever heard of COVID-19, nearly half of the US workforce was able to work from home (that’s up from 29% just two years ago). If you don’t work from home regularly, you might find yourself sitting at your kitchen table thinking, “now what?” Here are some tips to maintain some normalcy in these not-so-normal times.
Keep Your Routine
As best you can, keep to your normal workday routine. Adhere to bedtime and wake-up routines, eat breakfast, shower, even get dressed in your normal work or casual work attire. The less you disrupt your routine, the more productive you’ll be.
Make Your Workspace
If you don’t have a workspace at home, declare one. A kitchen or dining room table makes a fine substitute desk. Spread out as much as you would at the office. If you’re in the office mindset, you’ll get more accomplished.
Reboot as Necessary
Make regular breaks part of your routine. Like in the office, it’s good to get up every 30-60 minutes. Weather permitting, go for a walk to clear your head. It might just make coming back to the task at hand easier to tackle.
Use Technology to Maximize Productivity and Collaboration
There are dozens of online tools beyond Google Hangouts and group texting. Chances are, your employer has a preferred platform for online collaboration. If not, some popular tools include:
Zoom – for video conferencing
Slack – for texting and file sharing; a paid version includes multi-user video calls
Google Docs – collaborate via word processing, spreadsheets and more
Plugin with headphones to minimize distractions and keep your hands-free during phone calls. This is especially helpful if you’re not the only one at home.
Kids Need Focus, Too
If you have children in the household, they benefit from maintaining routines as much as you do. So, like you, keep them on their school day schedules. Most schools have implemented remote learning plans which will keep school-aged children occupied while you’re taking care of business.
While preschool ages will require more attention, declaring “mommy/daddy work time” can include a special toy or movie viewing. Nap times can be your most productive times.
Expect interruptions at the least opportune moments. Hopefully, your co-workers and clients will find those conference call intrusions amusing and even endearing. Yet, if those intrusions get out of hand, politely excuse yourself and reschedule for a more productive time.
Eat Healthy Foods
Remain mindful of your snacking while working from home and avoid stress eating.
If you have access to a grocery, get fresh fruits and vegetables and stock your pantry. Fresh fruits and vegetables with long expiration dates are an excellent choice. If fresh isn’t available, the frozen food aisle is full of nourishing options. Beans, legumes, canned fish, nut butters, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, canned fruits, and vegetables can offer sustaining meals for weeks to come.
Making sure you keep your immunities high is also essential right now. Beef, salmon and shellfish are among immune system boosting foods.
You’re not Going to Ace this Overnight
Give yourself some latitude when it comes to being productive. There’s a lot going on out there in the world and maintaining focus is more difficult than ever. So, don’t expect a perfect score on working from home – especially for those of us who are new to it. Keeping to a routine and an office mindset will help get you there.
Staying aware of your mental health throughout this time will help you remain calm and make good decisions. Click here to learn more about our behavioral health services available at Baptist Health.
Here for a Healthier You
Learn about the behavioral health services available at Baptist HealthLearn More