March 16, 2020
I'm fortunate to work for a forward-thinking company that embraced remote work schedules years ago. But, working from home requires discipline for it to be successful and doesn't come naturally to everyone. Now that we're all being asked to work remotely, here are some tips to help you get comfortable with the whole process:
1. Keep to a schedule
Make and keep calendar invites for meetings. Stick to deadlines. Treat your schedule the same as if your boss was in the room with you.
2. Treat your home environment as a virtual office space
Working from home means exactly that; working! Set up your home space to mimic your office space as closely as you can. You'd be surprised to see how much muscle memory plays a role in your routines. Efficiency is key.
3. Get dressed!
Get up, get out of bed, brush your teeth, comb your hair and get dressed! Shirt, pants, shoes, the whole bit. It makes a huge difference in your attitude and work ethic.
4. DON'T run errands during work hours. DO get lunch
Being home during work hours isn't an excuse to run out and pick up your dry cleaning. Breaking your daily work routine can be detrimental to your work mindset and throw off your whole day. That doesn't mean you should skip lunch or avoid taking breaks. Go get a sandwich! Keep your lunch schedule the same as you would if you were in the office.
5. Keep coffee and snacks handy
Keeping alert and awake is key if you're home by yourself for hours at a time. The isolation can get to you. Keep yourself active by having some snacks handy. A good coffee maker or pod machine can make the difference for those post-lunch heavy eyelids.
6. Stay visible
Out of sight is out of mind. Make sure you take your meetings online, and make sure you use your video. Let people see your face, especially the people who directly affect your work and your future at the organization. Smile, be positive, project your voice. Let the folks on the other side of the screen know you mean business!
I can't emphasize this enough. When you're working remotely, its easy to lose track of timelines, deliverables, meetings--you name it. TALK to your team regularly, schedule check-ins. Stay on everyone's radar. If you aren't sure some talking point was communicated, by all means restate it to the decision-makers. It's better to be redundant than to potentially miss something important.
Hope this helps! Let's get to work!