The world looks very different these days with the majority of us staring out our windows from home while working, rather than chatting with coworkers over the coffee pot in the morning.
For those of us who have now combined home and office in the same space, it can be difficult to find a space and pace that allows us to separate homelife from worklife. I’ve compiled a few tips that I think you’ll find useful as we navigate the current normal of working from home.
While lounging on your comfy couch to tackle that work project sounds like a very nice idea, it can actually be pretty bad for your body.
You want to be able to look straight ahead at your screen while working to avoid getting a stiff neck or shoulders. If you have a home computer with a monitor, use it rather than your laptop. It’s best if your screen is directly in front of you at arm’s distance with your head about 3 inches below the top of the monitor.
No home computer? Investing in a wireless keyboard and mouse will transform your laptop into a more ergonomic option.
If you do want to lounge on the couch, make sure that you don’t lounge for too long. The great thing about working from home is that you can change your seating and standing options often while sending out emails or hosting conference calls.
You might be tempted to shoot off an email after office hours, but you should stop yourself before hitting send. According to the Harvard Business Review, multiple studies have shown that those receiving after hour emails feel compelled to respond, even if the email isn’t urgent. Don’t set the precedent that you’ll work outside of your normal office hours, unless you’re having to work around other factors, such as a child’s nap or mealtime.
Consider creating an “out of office” reply that lets others know that you might be slow in responding to emails. This can allow you specific hours to focus only on work rather than correspondences, or can provide a buffer if you’re one of the many employees working from home with children.
Commute to Work
Proceed or create a new morning routine: set your alarm, get dressed (you can skip the heels, of course), make a cup of coffee, you might even take a walk around the neighborhood or your home in place of your regular commute! This will help your mindset change from home to work on the weekdays.
Connect with Others
It can be a little more difficult to discuss with coworkers the latest Netflix show you’ve been binging if you’re all working separately, but that doesn’t make these types of conversation any less important to stave off feelings of isolation.
Take the time to check in with coworkers through video calling, web cams, and other platforms like Slack, Zoom or the app called Houseparty. You might even start or end a conference call with an icebreaker question to make your team continue to feel connected throughout this time.
I hope you find these tips useful! If you have any suggestions of your own of how you’ve been managing working from home, please let me know in the comments below. We will make it through this together!