There’s a growing number of companies that have decided to close their offices due to Coronavirus COVID-19 and have decided that everybody should move to their home offices.
For some working from home might sound easy but for others is fairly difficult, especially when you have never done that before. So here are 11 tips that help you stay sane while working from home during Coronavirus the outbreak.
1. Try to separate home and workspace as much as possible
It’s important to separate home and work as much as possible because there are so many distractions at home. For example kids, pets, food in the kitchen, TV with all the news about Coronavirus, dirty dishes, laundry and so on. You don’t want these things to disturb you from being productive while working from home, so it’s important to focus on your workspace.
Where should my home workspace be?
If you’re lucky, then you have a separate room that you can use as your office and that’s of course the best option because you can set up your workspace almost like at your real office.
If you’re not that lucky, then your second best option would be having a proper desk in a quiet corner. It’s definitely better to work behind a proper desk than from the kitchen table, living-room couch or even worse – from the bed.
Keep in mind that the location of your workspace is super important. If your workspace is in the kitchen, then you’ll think about the food a lot, if your workspace is in the bedroom, then you’ll feel like relaxing. Before choosing the best location, be sure to have a great wifi connection at the spot and a plug close by or be ready to use an extension cord.
What should my home workspace look like?
Obviously it’s important to have a proper desk and chair but that’s not all. Think about the other facilities that your work-space should have. Do you need an extra screen? Or maybe even two? Extra space on the table to take some notes? Proper background for video calls? How many plugs do you need? Is the sun shining straight to your screen? Do I need headphones with noise cancellation?
Think through what are the essentials that you need in your home workspace and prepare the space before you start working.
2. Make a schedule
You might feel like during Coronavirus COVID-19 you have a lot of time and therefore you don’t need to plan your day but that’s not true. Even though Coronavirus has stopped many of our daily activities and makes us feel like we have a lot of spare time to work behind a computer, that’s not the case.
As human beings we always find things to do at home – whether it be watching TV, reading news about COVID-19, cooking, cleaning or educating ourselves. So it’s essential to have an actual plan! You need to make a strict schedule to actually stay productive with your work.
Think through: What time do you wake up? What time do you eat? When do you start working and when should you have breaks? What time do you finish working? Think through your whole day and write it down so that you’ll have your daily schedule in front of you.
3. Focus on morning routine
You might feel that you don’t have “real office hours” because everybody works from home and there’s no boss who can control what time you start to work and what time you finish working. That being said, there’s an option that you will enjoy sleeping longer and longer each day and will totally lose your schedule.
In order for this not to happen, it’s important to create yourself a morning routine. Know exactly what time you will wake up and what are the actions you’ll do before work. It’s important to have some actions before work that wake up your body and your mind, give you energy and prepare you for the upcoming day.
Here are few ideas about what the morning routine could consist of:
- Sports to wake your body up. Many countries have closed all gyms and indoor sports fields during the Coronavirus outbreak. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do sports. Whether it be running in nature or doing some exercises at home. Do it!
- Meditation awakens your mind and puts yourself into a positive state of mind.
- Listening to podcasts or reading a book to learn new skills or get some motivation.
- Writing down your goals to understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing and finding the purpose behind your actions & the force that drives you further.
- Having a healthy breakfast to give you the energy that your body and mind need.
4. Use remote work tools to boost your productivity
After having reliable WiFi and the best workspace possible, it’s time to think about the tools that might be useful while working from home during Coronavirus.
Here are some of the tools that you might want to consider:
- Toggle for time tracking
- Slack for communication
- Asana, ProofHub, Weekdone, Scoro, Jira, Trello or Monday for tasks, planning and project management
- iDoneThis, ToDoist or Productive for productivity and building habits
- Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Social Bakers or Facelift Cloud for social media scheduling
- Skype, Join.me, Meet.Google or Zoom for calls and video conferences
- Figma, Sketch or InVision for design, prototyping and sketching
- Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or Box for cloud storage and collaboration
The list of remote work tools is endless and there are new cool tools popping out all the time. Pretty often the free versions are enough but sometimes it makes sense to invest into those tools.
5. Reduce distractions
The amount of distractions at home is endless and it might be quite hard to focus on work when there are kids screaming, food in the kitchen, TV playing and so on.
In order to reduce distractions try to think through what exactly might distract you and how to get rid of those before you start working.
Here are some ideas:
- Kids are at home – make a schedule with your partner when should one be taking care of the kids and when another.
- Food in the kitchen – avoid working near the kitchen and make an agreement with yourself what time you’ll eat.
- Netflix and TV – turn the TV off and if you have a Netflix icon on your desktop, then hide it. You don’t need extra distractions while working.
- Coronavirus COVID-19 news – obviously we all want to get the latest news but try not to refresh news every 2 minutes. Decide for example that you’ll look at the news every 2 hours for 5 minutes.
6. Dress (almost) like at work
It’s not like you should suit up every day at home BUT you shouldn’t work in your pajamas either. Especially when you have video meetings. Take care of yourself even if you’re working from home and not meeting people daily.
7. Avoid feeling isolated & keep in touch with colleagues
Working from home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t communicate with your co-workers. It’s important to stay in touch with each other.
Here are some suggestions:
- Let others know what you’re working on. A good idea is to have for example Slack channel where everybody writes down their daily tasks. That way everybody knows what you are working on and the other way round.
- Communicate with your co-workers. You can still call your co-workers, chat with them and have video calls. Working from home doesn’t mean that you have to be in total isolation from the outer world.
- Show your face during video meetings. It makes you more present when you show your face during video calls and meetings. It also makes you feel more like you’re at work.
8. Move yourself & do sports
Due to Coronavirus many gyms are closed and it might seem like you should have a break from training but that’s not true.
Go outside for a run or do some exercises at home. It’s important to move your body and stay active! You don’t wanna be overweight after this Coronavirus #staythefuckhome period is over.
Also, remember to stand up every once in a while when you’re working behind the computer. Your body needs this.
9. Work during the times when you’re the most productive
If you have the opportunity, then try to figure out the times of the day when you are the most productive during the day. Not always, but pretty often remote work also gives you the opportunity to choose not only the location but also the time of the day for working. Are you a morning person? Or do you like to work late at night? Maybe you do like the traditional 9to5 schedule. If your company is not dictating, then use the freedom to work whenever you are the most productive.
10. Eat healthy
In daily bases you’re probably moving a lot less now during the Coronavirus breakout than you used to. Considering that it’s important to still stay healthy and think about the food you eat.
Take care of your health and give your body nutritious and balanced food that it needs.
11. Stay positive
It might feel tough to stay positive while Coronavirus is shaking our world. But you’re one of the lucky ones, who still has a job and who can do it from home. At least I hope so, else you wouldn’t probably read that article.
So take it as a challenge and become out of it as a winner. It’s a great time to work with your self-discipline. Enjoy this ride and stay positive!
Thanks for reading! If you have more remote work tips, then send it to us: firstname.lastname@example.org