5 Tips to Follow When Working from Home

Working from home is both a dream and a nightmare. While the commute from your bedroom to the office takes less than 30 seconds and you can stay in your pajamas all day if you so choose, you may have some new, child-aged coworkers that are needier than your actual coworkers and a lot of distractions that can take you away from your job and productive workday.

Emelar closed its doors to our physical offices one week ago in response to COVID-19 and shifted our staff to an online, remote office. Now entering week two of remote at-home working, at our weekly Monday meeting we discussed what helps keep us accountable and productive throughout the workday. Here’s what we came up with:

1. Get ready like normal

So maybe don’t spend all day in your pajamas. Wake up at the same time you normally would get ready for work and take a shower, change your clothes and brush your teeth. Now, you don’t have to go full business wear, but put on something that doesn’t make you want to curl up on the couch and nap all day. Since you will no longer be commuting to work, take that time for some light exercise, such as a walk around your house to simulate your 15-minute commute.

2. Keep your normal work schedule as much as possible

If you work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. normally, keep that schedule. It can be tempting to minimize or maximize your hours because you are working from home but keep yourself accountable with a consistent workload.

3.Be mindful of keeping your camera on during meetings

Perhaps another reason to change out of your pajamas, but if you have a meeting, keep your camera on. It shows whoever you are talking to that you are actively engaged in the conversation you are having and not distracted by something else. Additionally, it models transparency and makes the interaction more personable. You are not hiding by a screen; You are present.

4. Create a work zone and keep it separate from your living area

Work can be stressful, even if it is at home, so separate the feelings of home and the office. Set up an area with a desk and a chair and other items that remind you of working in an office (Kleenex, lotion, planner, family photos, etc.). Bonus points if this area is located in a room with a door because once your day is over, leave your office and shut the door behind you.

5. Go for walks outside when you can

Even when in the office, we can all admit that we do not sit at our desks all day. We may go grab a cup of coffee, talk to our coworkers or take a lap around the office. At home should be no different. Instead, however, take walks outside when you can to get out of your head get some Vitamin D as well. Working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave the house. These walks, like every item on this list, can be crucial to staying productive.

Working from home can be challenging, especially if it is not something you usually do every day. Take the opportunity with stride, though, and model to your job how valuable of an employee you can be, whether you are working in or out of office.