How to work from home and stay sane
10 tips to Work From Home like a boss!
As we enter week 2 of Self-Quarantine in Aruba, and looking at a situation for at least another week (officially confirmed at the time of writing), and probably even more weeks ahead – we thought it was time to check up on you.
So, how are you doing? Got over the shock? Found a rhythm that works for you? Yeah, we know. Probably not everything is going as smoothly as you’d like right now. Reality is setting in that this might be a long-term haul and we all must pull through for the sake of the country and we better do it trying to stay as sane as possible. Believe me, it is easy to go crazy if you don’t pull yourself together in order to just GET THE WORK DONE.
Below 10 tips on how to work from home and stay sane in the process.
#1 Set a routine
Yes, this one is pretty basic, the most shared tip online and also the most difficult to attain. At home there are more than enough distraction, so don’t try and create the same routine you would have at the office. Create a separate routine for working at home, and make that work for you! For example, in the morning you can drink your coffee and eat breakfast while listening to a podcast and browsing through emails, then have a chat with your colleagues online through Zoom or Hangout. It is essential though that everyone sets his/her routine that works best for him/her. Be conscious of when you are most productive, and divide tasks properly.
#2 Set up your home office
Here at Novelty our team went home with their screen, office chairs and desk accessories. Working on two screens helps with productivity and focus. If you have a separate room in your home with a door to close, make that your home office! If not, try and make the best out of your dining or vanity table. It’s important to really dedicate a separate space so you can find your focus.
#3 Don’t stay in your pajamas ALL DAY
I know it’s tempting, but don’t. It might be nice to just slack off for a few days but don’t neglect yourself. You’re still working and the old saying of ‘feel smart, work smart’ really applies. You might not need to worry about your suit and tie but showering and getting dressed at the same time (ish) as you would normally will set you up for a more productive day.
#4 Meal and snack prep.
Like the old meme goes, living in quarantine made us realize we are always just simply waiting for our next meal... However, don’t get caught in the “I have nothing to eat” scenario and get up every 20 min or so to snack on unhealthy foods and energy bars. While you don’t need elaborate meals, make it a point to meal prep your snacks the night before, like you’d do for office work. This way you can focus on work, and still stay healthy in the process.
#5 Keep in touch with your colleagues.
Self-quarantine time and working from home can be very lonely, especially for extroverts as they would probably struggle the most with the isolation. Keep in touch with your colleagues as they might feel the same if this is their first time working from home too. At Novelty, we are constantly keeping in touch through our WhatsApp group chat and have two weekly meetings through Google Hangout.
#6 Get out!
And by out, we mean your back or front yard! We are living in a crisis and social distancing is extremely important. However, so is fresh air. Make sure to allocate a moment in the day, before or after your regular work hours OR during your lunch hour to get outside in the garden and get fresh air and exercise. Not only is this good for your health, fresh air and exercise makes you focus better and more productive.
#7 Don’t feel guilty – it’s OK to mix work and life.
Just go with the flow! Listen, we all know that working from home means that instead of small talk at the office, you might be watching the last news conference, or scrolling through some articles, or responding to text from family. Don’t feel guilty and try not to be too rigid with separating work life and home life. Instead of trying to force yourself to be productive when you’re not, or to relax when your mind’s whirling, just go with the flow. Don’t feel guilty for that morning walk on the beach, you’ll probably find yourself even more productive and happier doing so. And that’s all your employer really wants. That being said, do check out the next two points.
#8 Ignore house work!
Even though it is perfectly fine to mix work and life, ask yourself the following: “If you were at the office, would you come home to clean the bathroom?” Sure, there are some things you could do while waiting for the kettle to boil, such as loading the breakfast bowls into the dishwasher or putting a few glasses away, but don’t suddenly decide to clean the oven just because you’re at home. You can be productive though; set the washing off in the morning and store it away on your lunch break.
#9 Deliver Results
As your employer and colleagues can’t see you working, this is the most important tip we could give you – deliver consistent results. Focus on getting things done and presenting it to your team or employer on a regular basis. BCC your boss in emails to clients and regularly check in through WhatsApp or email.
#10 Good luck with the kids
Speaking as a mom myself, it’s probably a lot harder to concentrate, set a schedule and not feel guilty about mixing work and life. Therefore, it is even more important to talk with your employer to set specific goals for you to be able to deliver results instead of hours. If both parents are home try to remind the kids that while you’re working, they need to ask Dad for Play-doh or ask Mom to read the next book. if you have an extra room in the house where you set up your office, signs on the door might also work. and if you got an important call where sitting behind a desk is not necessary, do a walk and talk in the garden or around the neighborhood.
Good Luck! We’ll be sharing more tips along the way the longer Quarantine will take!