Seven Tips for Adjusting to Working from Home
Across the country, businesses big and small have been adjusting to self-imposed (and recommended) quarantine. This has been an easier adjustment for some than it has others. For those who have now found themselves working from home, it can provide some unique challenges and benefits. With that in mind, we at IC-CAP want to share with these five ways to help ease into this new way of working.
1. Set/Keep a Routine
With the idea of a daily commute out of the question for many former office workers. The idea of sleeping in is always appealing, especially on days where that wouldn't normally be the case. However, while that part of your day is gone, establishing a routine can help.
It doesn't have to match your typical workday, but keeping to staples of your morning like brushing your teeth, washing your face, and showering can help you keep a sense of normalcy about your day and work.
2. Set up a Workspace
While working from home has benefits, there are distractions and pitfalls to watch for. Working at your home comes with all the distractions of your home. Given the current crisis, those can be amplified. Not used to working with your partner? Children in the home? Pets, neighbors, etc. can all be detrimental to getting your work done.
You don't need a full home office, but finding a place that suits your needs can be a boon to your new situation. That includes things such as lighting, music, and anything else that helps you focus on the task at hand. This isn't going to be the same for everyone but can be a big part of keeping your routine going.
3. Set Timers
Working from home could be seen as an escape from others. However, the temptation to bring your work home with you becomes even greater when your office is your home. While it can be nice to get a bit ahead, there are pitfalls to watch for. There's a reason the U.S. is the most overworked country on Earth.
Setting timers help with that all-important skill of time-management. We have the opportunity to spend time at our homes. Regardless of the circumstance, take advantage. You can work plenty, but taking care of yourself is important—especially now! Take breaks. For you. For your family. (Bonus: If you have children, set aside "office hours" when they're asleep. That way, you can reliably plan meetings for a given day.)
4. Maintain/Start Proper Nutrition
The benefits of remote work are numerous and apply to both employees and employers. One of those is the freedom to work and dine at your own pace. Rather than being confined to a quick breakfast sandwich or bar on your way out the door or a short 30-minute lunch, you can take the time to prepare and craft delicious, filling, and new meals!
Your typical 9-5 might not leave you a lot of time to grab goodies at the grocery for a four-star salad every day. However, taking the time to prepare a healthy, satisfying meal has well-known advantages. Take an extra hour on your breakfast! Try some new recipes! Your body and work will thank you for it.
But, not in the way, you might be accustomed to. Instead, do something "fun" while you work, that doesn't distract you. Are you a developer, getting your hands dirty in some code? Might be a good time to listen to that new artist you've been curious about? Been putting off organizing your email? (Of course, you have. We all have!)
Now's the perfect chance to catch up on your favorite series! There's plenty of things that you can take your time on, so why not enjoy them? Considering how many streaming services we have, there's surely something that can help you through your workday!
6. Take Time for Self-Care and Mental Health
The biggest change for a lot of people moving into working from home is very simple. You get to stay home. If there's a problem is that is giving you a hard time, and you're not sure how to tackle it, you have the freedom to walk away. You don't have to pretend to be working.
Take advantage of the flexibility you have and put it to work for you. If you have the option of tackling an issue the next day and moving onto something else, do that. The effects of stress on physical and mental well-being are well-documented. Even in an office, there's no reason to put yourself through it. Even less so, when you're in your home.
The idea of socializing might seem antithetical to the current trend of social distancing at first glance. However, humans are social creatures. Psychologists say the one thing most associated with emotional resilience is social connection and support. That may be as simple as a quick check-in with a friend or partner on the phone.
While it's always worthwhile to look out for yourself, it's also helpful for others too. You never know when someone may be dealing with something that they want to talk about. Take a bit of time out of your day, especially now, to reach out to people you care about. A text message, a phone call, a video, etc. It can always make a difference.
Hopefully, our advice is able to help you or someone you know. The shift to remote for teachers, students, employers, and employees hasn't been easy; especially not with how sudden it's been implemented. There are growing pains and it won't become a piece of cake overnight.
People in the technology fields, though, have a bit of an edge on your typical employee. They're particularly adept at looking at problems and using every tool at their disposal to find a solution. Heck, sometimes they build the tools they need themselves. As you work through these adjustments, keep that mindset. The creativity and resilience that it entails will be the key to making us healthier, more well-rounded individuals once this pandemic is over.
If you found this helpful, we'd love for you to share this with someone who needs it. Likewise, if you're looking for a career change in the tech industry, IC-CAP has a wide range of positions that need to be filled across the country, and we need motivated, skilled professionals to fill them. Visit our site, as well as our Indeed and ClearanceJobs page for all the openings we have.