COVID-19 has prompted many companies to close down their offices and transition into fully remote teams. While this has certainly been a hurdle for the companies themselves, individual employees may also be feeling the pains that come with transitioning from working in an office to working from home full time.
Make A Designated Work Station
Not everyone has the space for an entire home office, and that’s okay! Setting up a designated workspace where you can sit down and focus–and then leave at the end of the day is important not only for productivity but for setting boundaries between work and home life. Try your best to find a place where you’re not too relaxed. Working from the couch may seem like a dream, but sitting up straight is important for both posture and productivity.
Break Up Your Workday
It’s easy for many remote workers to get so caught up in work without other people around that they forget to take breaks. Just like you would have lunch breaks at work, make sure you take time out for yourself while working from home. Set time aside to stretch your legs, grab a snack, and clear your mind throughout the day. You’ll come back to your desk feeling more refreshed and focused.
Make A Communication Plan
Working remotely can pose a challenge for teams that collaborate frequently or tend to have many in-person meetings. It’s important to create a plan with your team to ensure that everyone is communicating effectively in the absence of real face time. Set standing meetings with team members and stakeholders that you would typically meet with often, and be sure to keep documents organized in a shared cloud drive to ensure that everyone can get access to work that they need to collaborate on. Platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive are great for remote teams who need to work together frequently. Host meetings on Zoom and create department-specific channels on Slack or Google Hangouts to minimize the feeling of being isolated.
Working from home has its perks, but it can also leave room for many distractions that can curb productivity and throw you out of focus. Try to maintain the same level of focus as you would in your office when you’re working from home. Put away your phone, ask family members to let you focus until your next break, and whatever you do, don’t turn on the TV!
Give Yourself Time
Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself as you make this transition. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one making the change, and that it’s not going to be seamless for everybody right away. Keep trying to find your groove, and pay attention to what does and doesn’t work for you and your team.
Have you worked remotely before? What is your biggest piece of advice for new remote workers?