To everyone who is lucky enough to be able to continue to work from home during COVID-19, let’s try and make this experience as much of a positive one as possible.
To be honest, I thoroughly enjoy working from home, and I am fortunate enough to be working at a firm that encourages working from home 1 – 2 times a week, to all employees in general. I find that I am more productive because I get to focus more, I am in the comfort of my own home and can be as focused as possible, I can also do my laundry during my lunch break, work on a strategy with a face mask on…the list goes on.
That being said, Canada (and many other countries) is taking extra caution at the moment, and most organizations, events, gyms, and stores have closed until further—an unprecedented state of emergency. Obviously, it isn’t fun being confined indoors in addition to the 9 – 5 hours required to be online on a full day of remote working. However, let’s try and remember, this is a temporary situation and this too, shall pass.
Without further adieu, let’s jump right into some tips and tricks I have developed over the years on how to effectively work from home, plus some ideas on how to be confined at home without losing your mind.
Let’s start with the WFH stuff:
Use reliable digital notebooks and calendars to keep you on track
As much as I enjoy journaling in my diary and physically writing things down in general, for all things work-related, I use Google Calendar and Microsoft OneNote. Both these tools allow shareability with other team members, sync on mobile and desktop, and allow for alerts and reminders. After testing a range of platforms, these are my absolute favorite. I make sure to have all deadlines, meetings, projects on my calendars so anyone from my team can see what I’m doing, as well as so that I am kept on track. OneNote is literally like a (free) online notebook, with separate sections and tabs. It allows me to have all my notes in one place, in an organized and efficient way.
Schedule recurring video calls with clients and team members
Zoom/ Google Hangouts/ Slack all allow video calls between internal and external members teams. It is important to maintain regular face-to-face weekly meetings to ensure communication isn’t affected, and that team culture and motivation is maintained.
Ensure you are easily reachable
Incorporate your phone number into your email signatures, make sure to have your phone on you at all times if you leave your computer, and keep your team posted on how/when to reach you if your regular times, schedule, or working communication lines have changed. This prevents any delays in workflow and keeps things moving.
Set up a distinct workspace
Ensure you set up a separate section of your house with a proper desk and table, to ensure you work efficiently, and also with a clean background to maintain a professional atmosphere for meetings. This separate section of your home will really help you switch off after work, and prevent you from mixing business from pleasure, which is incredibly important to keep you motivated and happy. Decorate this workspace to make it a fun place to be working out of, just like you would in office.
Use your lunch break to enjoy some offline time
Take your 30 minutes or hour to switch off your computer. If you don’t take a break, your work will suffer. You need to step away and come back. Use this time to put on a mask, cook food, do your laundry, catch up with a friend on the phone—whatever it is! Enjoy the luxury of being at home and getting some chores done with this extra time.
Now, let’s discuss the after work at home stuff:
Yyoga, Barre Belle, Fitness Blender—to name a few, are offering no-equipment, online workouts which is so wonderful! I am one of those people who gets incredibly restless if I don’t work out at least 3 – 4 times a week. I’m always on my computer, so I need to let off some energy every now and then. Just because gyms and studios are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t get moving!
Now that you have all this time, quit procrastinating and clean up your house! Take those pictures of your clothes to put up on Poshmark to sell, organize everything you want to donate, throw out everything that doesn’t function. Spark joy!
Youtube how to perfect that smokey eye, or french braid, register for some online courses (maybe get that Google ads certificate you’ve been meaning to), start knitting—go crazy!
Setup group Facetime sessions, keep in touch and socialize without needing to be together physically. Set up online games with one another, let your creativity initiate an online party!
Read books/ Watch TV/ Listen to podcasts
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I’ve been meaning to get through some novels that I actually have the time for now! And to be honest, I’ve already gone through so many TV shows, it’s a bit embarrassing…
Any more ideas? I’d love to hear.
Shoot a message at me below!