9 Tips to Stay Sane While Working from Home
To say a lot has happened in the past week would be an understatement. As many of us are transitioning to a ‘work from home’ routine and practicing ‘social distancing,’ I realized what a big impact this is having on many people. I’ve been working remotely for four years so this doesn’t feel like much of a change for me, but when I think back to when I started, I remember how big of an adjustment it was. To help you avoid the learning curve I went through, I thought I’d share a few of the #WFH tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past few years.
- Get dressed. I get it. It is SO tempting when you work from home to stay in your PJs and not get dressed for work. I am not suggesting you put on a suit and tie, but it’s amazing how much more productive you will feel by getting dressed before you start your day.
- Schedule Exercise. I don’t know about you, but I am a better human being when I work out for at least 30-minutes during the day. I am a better leader and team member. I have more creative ideas and am more productive. When working from home it’s easy to let things like exercise fall by the wayside, but it’s more important than ever for your physical and mental health that you schedule the time. And think about it, now that you aren’t facing that commute to and from the office, you may have more available time than you thought.
- Schedule breaks and make time to eat. When you work from home, it’s easy to fill up every minute on your calendar. You also don’t have the small built-in breaks you may not have ever noticed you had in the office like walking to get coffee, stopping by someone’s office to ask a question, or even changing meeting rooms.
- Make sure to schedule time on your calendar to take a lunch break. Use that time to shut your computer and take a break or eat or catch up with friends on the phone or FaceTime.
- Most calendars also have built-in settings that can automatically create 25-minute meetings instead of 30 and 50-minute meetings instead of a full hour. Shortening your meetings by just a few minutes gives you a chance to grab some coffee, a snack, take a brisk walk with your pup or just stretch.
- Make a list each morning. Some days not being in an office environment can feel overwhelming. To stay focused, I make a list each morning of the top 3 things I must get done that day and the top 5 things I’d like to get done. I won’t leave my desk until those first three things have been completed. Making a list helps me prioritize the most pressing and strategic initiatives that need to get tackled and not get bogged down in simply reacting.
- Check-in with co-workers to just say ‘hi.’ Working from home can feel lonely. You’re missing coffee breaks and lunch get-togethers and simply passing by your team members in the hall. Make sure to message people in Slack, give them a call, or FaceTime without a specific ask or need. Just check-in and say hi, see how their day is going.
- Use video. Feeling unconnected? Working from home means more calls and less face-to-face time which can feel like it’s harder to interact and engage with people. Make sure to turn the video camera on as much as possible during your meetings. It’s amazing how much more connected you feel when you are able to speak to people face-to-face.
- Puppy tips. I have four dogs and two cats. While my furry friends are some of the best coworkers I have ever had, needless to say, I’ve had the occasional background noise pop up on a call. (Does anyone else’s dog snore like a goose?) Working from home adds some nuances to your day you may not be used to but it’s ok. It’s life. Here are a few tips for working at home with pups.
- My husband and I make sure to get the dogs plenty of exercise in the morning so they are tired and relaxed throughout the morning.
- Do your dogs love the UPS delivery person? Mine do. And every time UPS leaves a package and rings my doorbell it is mass chaos. If I know I have a number of calls lined up, I leave a nice note on the door and ask the delivery person to please not knock or ring the doorbell.
- If I know I need to record a video or a webinar, the pups get some extra chewy time or kennel time.
- Create an official workspace. Even if you don’t have access to a separate room at home to create a workspace, it’s important to have a place that emulates a work environment. Whether it’s at the island in your kitchen or a kitchen table, you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you are by avoiding the super comfy chair or working from the sofa.
- Shut the doors at the end of the day. When you work from home it’s easy for your personal and professional lines to blur. I’m lucky I’m enough to have a home office and at the end of the day I shut my doors and ‘go home from work.’ If that option isn’t available to you, make sure at the end of the day to close your computer and put it away. It helps to create boundaries.
I hope you find value in a few of these tips. But most importantly, I hope you are staying positive and staying healthy. We, at Tealium, are here to help. And if there is anything we can do to help make this time easier for you or your team, please don’t hesitate to reach out.