Buckle in for the new commute – here are some work from home tips for success from our Technomicians.

In the recent weeks, we unexpectedly became full-time teleworkers after being accustomed to working in an office environment. This new work situation is necessary for the greater good, but that doesn’t mean the transition is an easy or instinctual one. To help other teleworking transplants, we have compiled a few tips and tricks that might make the at-home workdays go a bit smoother:

  1. Have a dedicated workspace - If it’s possible, have a workspace that isn't your couch, bed, or in front of a TV. If an office space isn't an option for you, try the sectioning off part of your kitchen table or counter. If you live with your family or roommates, make sure there is a space you can go to take calls or partake in meetings behind a closed door or otherwise reduce distractions.
  2. Time block your days to help stay busy and productive - Make a “to-do” list for the day of work tasks and meetings, rank what needs to get done first, gauge how long each task will take, and then plan your work day in blocks of time. This practice could be especially beneficial for working parents who now also need to homeschool and take care of children.
A sleepy but helpful coworker can offer motivation while working from home.
  1. Make sure that your workspace has everything that you need - For me, that’s good internet connection, two computer screens, a few references, my notebooks and day planner, and a LARGE cup of coffee J
  2. Be social! - Working from home can be incredibly isolating when you’re used to being surrounded by coworkers. Stay connected with colleagues and clients; schedule meetings with your team, even if there is no agenda, just to catch up and for situational awareness. Send a colleague a Webex or team messenger note to check in. Chances are, if you’re feeling lonely, others are too and would appreciate hearing from another human!
  3. Get ready as if you are going into the office - Wake up at the time you normally would, get yourself ready for the day (maybe in athleisure since you’re at home!), make your morning coffee and breakfast, and prep your lunch/snacks. This will help ease into the work mindset for the day and also make the transition back into the office a little less daunting.
  4. To go along with that, END the day as if you were coming from the office - It can be tempting to continue working for a couple of hours when you’re already home and don't have to “beat the traffic,” but still try to close down at your work day’s end to maintain a healthy work-life-balance. Unless you're finishing up something important, of course!
Beware: furry friends may get jealous of the attention all these video conferences are getting!
  1. Replicate your “commute” - Many people use their commute to wake up, get in the mood for working productively, listen to a podcast episode, etc. Starting the day without that ritual could be detrimental. If you’re one of those people who are used to driving 30, 60, or 90 minutes to work, try (carefully) taking a walk around the neighborhood before sitting down to work for the day!
  2. Keep your space clean - It’s easier said than done, but make sure to keep up with household chores outside of work hours so that you’re not tempted to fold laundry, wipe down your counters, or organize your sock drawer during the workday. Clean spaces can promote productivity and decrease stress!
  3. Take small breaks – Be mindful that they don’t get in the way of any meetings or deliverables! However, sitting by yourself all day without the usual office distractions will be draining, so it’s important to take a few minutes here or there not looking at work. Walk your dog, spend a few minutes with your quaren-team, or call your friends or family.
  4. Make your workspace a happy one! - The world right now can be a scary and uncertain place, so now’s the time to flood yourself and your work environment with positivity. What “happy” is will vary from person-to-person, but here are some suggestions:
    • Diffuse essential oils. I like bergamot, citrus, peppermint, basil, and eucalyptus to encourage energy/focus. Be careful if using around pets!
    • Play the radio quietly in the background. It can somewhat replicate office chatter!
    • Keep a plant nearby for a springy pick-me-up.
    • Move your pet’s bed into your workspace. It’s nice to have some company, although not the same as seeing your coworkers. (In fact, some might say it’s better)
    • Open a window if it’s nice out. Having some fresh air circulating in your workspace can help alleviate the feeling of being stuffed up in your home office.
    • Consider your working style and add some color to your work space. See here for some ideas.
Spending a few minutes with a curious companion can serve as a much-needed recharge. Taking a few minutes to exercise can boost your mood and productivity - consider adding pups as obstacles for an advanced workout!

Bonus tips when teleworking with youngsters:

  1. Plan & Coordinate – Know your significant other’s schedule for deadlines, conference calls, etc. to understand each other’s availability and any schedule overlaps to plan ahead.
  2. Mimic Structure – Maintain a daily schedule and structure for your kid(s) to mimic their daily curriculum or routine such as breakfast, outdoor time, craft time, lesson plans, etc. for the younger ones.
  3. Take Shifts – Rotate with your significant other to attend activities with your kid(s) and provide a balance for each of you that allows the other time to focus on work.
  4. Establish a “Quiet Time” – Allowing your kid to play games on an iPad or watch TV can be an avenue for “quiet time” if both parents are busy and support the use of screen time.
  5. Plan Quality Time – If your schedule allows, make some time for lunch with your child and significant other to spend quality time and reevaluate your schedule for the day if needed.
  6. Be Flexible & Able to Adapt – Don’t beat yourself up or stress out too much if things don’t go according to plan.