10 Tips for Working from Home in a COVID-19 Environment
While some are more familiar with working from home, we recognize many of you may be new to working from home while we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you be successful while working from home, we’ve compiled these tips to help you stay productive, set expectations, and have some fun.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness: You know what they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. Now more than ever, personal hygiene is important. Even though you are at home, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly is important. While there are many guides out there on proper hand washing techniques, these two are some of our favorites. Also, did you know, your cell phone has 10x more germs than a toilet seat? So, while you’re washing your hands, consider washing your phone, too. Here is a handy article on some ways to go about disinfecting your phone.
- Give yourself structure. Sure, working from can be awesome. Working in your PJs and all that. But that said, it is important to treat a work from home scenario as though you are working from your office. We recommend you wake up early and go through your routine as though you are preparing to go into the office. Get showered and dressed (no one wants to see you in your PJs, regardless of how cute they are). Similarly, we recommend take short breaks and a lunch break like you would as though you were in the office. This structure will help you keep your normal rhythm and keep your day from getting away from you.
- Have a dedicated workspace. Working from home allows you to have a more mobile office than you might be used to. Suddenly working from your bed, your kitchen table, or your couch all seems enticing. Setting up a designated workspace will help you eliminate distractions and stay focused during your office hours. There’s nothing worse than working from your kitchen table with a pile of dirty dishes staring at you. Trust us.
- Have a reliable internet and phone connection. Being and staying connected while working from home is paramount. We recommend running an internet speed test to assure you are able to maintain productivity with a number of new devices being connected on your home network.
- Be available and set expectations. Working from home means you should still be working during your normal office hours, even if you aren’t in your normal office environment. Set expectations with your team around your availability and make it clear when and how people can best get ahold of you. Phone calls, text messages, instant messaging, emails, and video conferencing are powerful ways to stay connected with your team during this time. We recommend using video conferencing tool like Zoom to stay connected in a “face-to-face” format (just don’t forget to mute your audio when you aren’t talking). An instant messaging tool like Slack is a great way to communicate with your team via direct instant messages or group messages.
- Check in with each other. Working from home is not always easy on everyone and your team may be struggling with uncertainty, loneliness, their workload, or more. Now is the time to be a good neighbor—reach out and check in, and check on, your team.
- Get a good playlist. Matching your playlist to your task at hand can be a great way to get motivated, stay focused, and conquer your task list. We recommend Metallica and Mozart.
- Maintain your mental health. Working from home and social distancing can be hard. Maintaining your mental health is important for creativity, productivity, and your overall well-being. Check out this list of ways to support your mental health during COVID-19. We like the idea of getting out in nature, reaching out to venerable neighbors, and of course, being (and demonstrating) gratefulness.
- Plan activities for your kids. If you are like us in Oregon, schools are temporarily shut down as a means to slow the spread of COVID-19. Working from home with littles (or pets) can be challenging. We recommend planning activities to keep your kids entertained so you can remain productive. Here are a few resources to check out:
- Outschool is offering classes for free for kids affected by the shutdown:
- If you have kids or grandkids in kindergarten – 8th grade at home, this is an excellent free math resource during the pandemic. Thanks, DreamBox Learning!
- Check out this survival guide for being stuck at home with your kids.
- Or this INDY’SCHILD article on 70 fun things to do with your kid while we are all stuck at home!
- Disney+ added Frozen 2 to its lineup three months earlier than expected and is now available for streaming.
- Stay educated. There is a LOT of information out there and it can be hard to follow what is happening. Staying informed is crucial to your health and safety so we recommend checking in (and sharing, when appropriate) resources with your team on new developments in your area or that affect your organization. We recommend following sites like the CDC’s Coronavirus page or the World Health Organization’s page to stay aware.
We hope this time for you working from home is safe and productive. And once you’re done working for the day, check out this list of shows to binge watch while stuck inside.