• Tips for Working from Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Tips for Working from Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

    Tips for Working from Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

    If you are suddenly forced to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then your entire routine and productivity formula just went out the window. This is rapidly becoming the new normal for many workers around the world, including here in Central Florida. Many businesses large and small are telling workers to stay home and work remotely. The perks are legit – no commuting, a more flexible schedule, comfy clothes and no dry-cleaning bills to name a few – but the pitfalls are also real – getting easily distracted, lack of connection and community, and a decline in productivity.

    Some of the keys to success are setting up a designated office or workspace in your home, following regular office hours, and implementing a structured routine, experts advise. This might mean turning the dining room or guest bedroom into a temporary office. It also means telling your spouse, children, friends and/or neighbors that even though you are home, you are working and shouldn’t be interrupted unless it is necessary.

    Try to stick to your normal workday routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as you normally do and shower and dress and start your day at the “office” just as you would if you were going to work. Some folks even recommend dressing in your normal business clothes to help instill the right mindset.

    It’s also recommended that you don’t incorporate household chores into your business hours. Folding the laundry and putting away the dishes will pull you off track mentally for longer than the time it takes to do those tasks. Another piece of good advice is to stay in regular communication with your work team. It’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Make sure everyone knows what their tasks and deadlines are and that they have the information they need to complete their projects and responsibilities.

    Schedule regular meetings via videoconferencing. If your company does not have a system in place for that, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, Skype and Amazon Alexa all offer free video calling for multiple people. Also consider setting up virtual lunches or happy hours to promote camaraderie and connection. Direct your team to transition their meetings or sales calls to virtual calls and meetings.

    Everyone is adjusting to a new normal. Mental health experts say staying on a routine is important because it helps keep anxiety in check. Reach out to your coworkers, family and friends if you need support, and be sure to check on them as well.

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