Here it is, folks – we’re getting a taste of the future. Before the infamous COVID-19 made its debut, workers spoke of a world in which we would all be working remotely. Replying to emails from the comfort of our own sofa has long been romanticized. Our peers with generous work from home policies have been envied. Sign-on packages have been negotiated to include the freedom to break from the shackles of the morning commute, the office desk, the office candy bowl.
Telecommuting is the future, we chanted in droves, as we desperately clung to the hope of a better work-life balance.
Now, we’re longing for our morning commutes, our office desks, our office candy bowl. Now, we’re longing for a taste of normalcy.
Seemingly overnight our reality changed and our self-discipline was put to the test. We got what we wanted, with a caveat. We’re working from home, alright, but now we’re all working from home: kids, spouses, partners, roommates… even the dog is home from daycare. We are piled on-top of each other and doing everything we can to sustain our last ounce of sanity.
We’re faced with the challenges of slowed internet, constant video calls, kids running around the house, blurred work-life balance, and, consequently, reduced productiveness. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of things that are personally helping us stay on top of our work, and, give ourselves a little self-love in the meantime.
Emulate your in-office environment at home
This advice came from a couple of our team-members, so it seems to have the biggest impact of keeping business running as usual. We, as humans, compartmentalize things and your work space is one of those. Creating a space that is strictly for work will help you switch “work-mode” on and off. Set it up with a second screen, a mouse, pens, notepads, maybe even an essential oil diffuser to create a serene and cheerful area.
Work your normal office hours – yes, shut off your laptop at your normal time – and keep yourself on a schedule. Having a routine and maintaining order is the first step to remaining productive in this trying time.
Get dressed to feel your best
It can be extremely tempting to roll out of bed and work in the clothes that you slept in. What’s the point of changing when nobody is going to see you, right? Not exactly. Much like a designated working area signals your brain to switch gears, changing your clothes can do the same.
According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and featured in this article by CNBC,
“professionals perform better on tasks when wearing clothes with ‘symbolic meaning.’ In the study, they found that doctors were more focused and performed better at work when wearing a lab coat. For a business professional, wearing a nice outfit may boost how you feel about work. Research by Joy V. Peluchette and Katherine Karl found, ‘Respondents felt most authoritative, trustworthy, and competent when wearing formal business attire, but friendliest when wearing casual or business casual attire.’”
Another concern that has presented itself with the social isolation movement is mental health wellness, especially for those living alone. That is why it is so important to give yourself time out of your day to move – take a walk around the block, stream one of the hundreds of fitness classes that are being offered by local studios (many of which are free and you can find here!), or maybe even take a drive around your community.
If you are accustomed to a doing a lot of things outside of your home, surrounded by many people, isolation can feel like a prison. It is so vital to keep your body moving in order to keep your mind clear!
Use this time to practice self-care
This is a fun one! When we have a “normal” schedule outside, we often let self-care fall to the side. This is a great time to paint on a face mask, wear warm socks, and to give your eyes a break by going a couple of days without wearing your contacts!
Get busy in the kitchen
Continuing with the theme of not doing things because we simply don’t have enough time, use isolation as a way to treat yourself to some home cooked meals! Doing something that you normally don’t have time to do will give you something to look forward to and sharpen your creativity – leading to a sense of accomplishment!
To top off this segment, we thought it would be fun to add direct quotes from our team – you know, since we’re all lacking human contact right now. Enjoy!
“Taking a walk during my lunch break has helped me feel refreshed when I come back to tackle the second half of the day. Also, the dual monitor has been incredible! My wife has been working upstairs so it helps that she is not in the same room, but having lunch with her has been nice.” – Christian
- Use the time you would have used to commute to work, to make a hearty breakfast.
- Face masks/self care while working.
- During breaks get blood pumping by walking around or doing jumping jacks
- Put relaxing music in the background
- Don’t work in bed, make a make shift office area with little distractions
- Set up a routine (breaks, lunch, etc.)
“For working from home I’ve found that not changing your processes and work habits is key even though the setting is different.” – Kohler
“The most critical piece that I have learned from WFH is to keep a schedule and get ready as if you are going into the office. Start and end at the same times and take a lunch break. I think people get trapped into working after hours and that can cause unnecessary stress. Also, make sure the setting is conducive to you being productive. Don’t work in your pajamas or from your bed because you will absolutely not get things done.” – Chesley
“I’ve taken advantage of this time to squeeze in an online yoga class during lunch. This keeps my blood flowing and helps me clear my head. As a side-effect of getting my work out done during the day, I’m able to make dinner earlier and get to bed earlier. I’m also having fun trying new recipes. Since I’m not running from the office to the gym – leaving little time to experiment in the kitchen – I have the opportunity to try more complex recipes which gives me something to look forward to during the day!” – Amelia
And last, but not least:
“Your husband will steal your pen. He’ll deny it, but when you are the only 2 people in the house, his guilt will be pretty clear.” – Anonymous🤐
Stay safe out there!