For those who are not used to working from home, you might be facing some challenges. I want to share with you what I have learned from my own experiences working from home and from my own clients who work from home.
I have both a home office and an office in Livonia. I often work from remote offices because I meet up with clients at their places of business or at coffee shops and libraries.
These may seem simple and obvious but I know from first-hand experience, it easy to get distracted while working from home.
Here are my tips.
- Keep a schedule: Wake up like you would normally wake up for work and stick to a routine. Have a start time, break time, lunch time, and end time to your day. And schedule online meetings with co-workers, clients, staff – whomever you need to meet. Don’t let the laundry or dishes in the sink take you away from work.
- Get dressed for work: So maybe not the suit and tie or skirt but dress appropriately. Don’t stay in your pajamas or wear sweats. Think casual Friday. Be professional. Your clients and coworkers will hear your professionalism on the other end of the phone line just like they can sense a smile or frown. People feel your mood. If you are doing live face time, people will see you. Do your hair and put on some makeup.
- Designate a work space: A specific area in your house for work space will help you stay focused and not get distracted. I have a home office. My office is just that – a work office. I keep it separate from anything home-related. I try to keep it organized and functional with my computers, books and online equipment to go live on the radio when I fill in as host. You might need to pick a space in your kitchen or dining area where you have a table and are near an outlet.
- Keep a list: write down all the work you have on your to-do-list and keep track every day of what got done and what didn’t get to that day.
- Schedule virtual meetings: Most of us have access to technology and the internet. Use this time to Skype, zoom or face time team members, staff and clients. Keep a specific schedule and calendar like you would on any given work day.
- Stay organized: Keep your work material and resources in your designated work space. Don’t put your notebooks and folders on a pile with your kid’s homework or the mail. Keep work separate from your home life. Clean your work space at the end of your designated work day.
- Take a break from the news: I am a news junkie and former full-time reporter. I love consuming news. I read it, watch it, and listen to it daily. However, during a crisis, sometimes you can become overwhelmed. The other day, I took a lunch break and started to follow up on the Coronavirus crisis. It was 12 noon. I was reading online, watching TV and listening to radio stations via Alexa and before I realized it, the clock read 3 p.m. I lost hours of work time, glued to the news coverage.
- Take time to refocus: Take 10 minute breaks throughout the day to refocus. Use this time to pray, to read scripture or to meditate.
Vanessa Denha Garmo is the founder of Epiphany Communications & Coaching and the Communications Evangelist Institute. She is a Communications Strategist, Content Creator and Coach.