COVID-19 has led to a major shift in working patterns. Many people have no option but to work from home now. Read on to learn some tips on settling into our new home office.
Relearn how you work:
Some people are used to patterns at a work office. When faced with the freedom of setting your own schedule, we end up being unable to work efficiently. To get back in the groove, be aware of your own rhythms. Do you usually work mornings or nights? Do you need one long break or many short breaks? Do you work best focusing on one task or multitasking?
Next, pick a scheduling technique that works best for you. It can be systemic time management such as the pomodoro technique or free-form management. Remember to be consistent with the schedule so it becomes a habit. Take real breaks that might include taking a walk or eating and hydrating your body.
Define your home office:
Just like scheduling, everyone has their own optimum work environment. Some people focus best with zero distractions, so a work computer should be in a clean, bright environment with no sounds, social media or games on your computer.
Other people need a little variety in their environment, so some desk decorations, interesting pictures, or a good view from the window might be just what you need. Just be aware of your needs, and adjust as much as you can to fit them.
Your work environment should be designated for work only. Don’t work from bed, or from your usual relaxation space. Also, don’t relax or sleep in your workspace. As more people are working from home, people find that show blurring those lines leads not only to a reduction in work efficiency, they also make it more difficult to relax and rest in those spaces when not working.
This can be difficult for those with limited space, I know. Even something simple, like hanging a bedsheet around your computer during working time can help your brain create a work/no work area.
Advice for Dealing with Family:
Working around family can be a challenge. It screams distractions coming from every direction. Not only can families distract from work, but family members can also sometimes confuse physical presence for mental presence. They might think that presence in the house means being off work. Small children in particular can be unable to understand this, so you might need to find a way to work around your children’s schedule. Sadly, no one outside your family can offer advice on the best way to do that. You’ll need to communicate with your family, but one thing is fixed: some boundaries need to be set.
The combination of communication and patience can lead to finding a pattern that works for all family members.