Working from Home & Social DistancingKristin Crane
As we all work together to adjust to the new reality of social distancing this month, a lot of people who are used to working in an office are suddenly working from home. We feel for all of you, it can be a challenging transition. Our Design Pool team all work remotely and have each managed to find a way to work from home that is productive and keeps our sanity (and relationships!) intact. In fact, we shared a few of our favorite tips on how to keep your sanity while working from home over on the Color Karma blog.
One of the main reasons working from home can be challenging is that the lines existing between work life and home life start to blur. Going into an office helps separate your work life from your home life and it can be uncomfortable when those boundaries become more porous.
So, if you’re adjusting to this new temporary reality we have a few tips that have been super helpful to our team, and hopefully, they will be for you too!
Create a dedicated workspace.
Since this current arrangement is temporary, you probably don’t already have a dedicated workspace in your home. This means you end up working in places that are normally for relaxing and having fun. You still want places for relaxing and fun, so set up an area dedicated to work and use that spot every day. If you think you’ll need to jump on video calls, be sure you are set up with a background that isn’t an overflowing litter box or a pile of pizza boxes.
Set boundaries with your family.
You may not be the only person in your family readjusting to working from home right now. Get into a new routine with your family. If it’s just you and your partner, have your coffee together, and then as nicely as possible, try to ignore each other during the day. Close a door or put on headphones and be respectful of each other’s jobs. Keep in mind that job-related stress may also be running high, so try not to take it out on each other. If you have kids at home too, try and share that responsibility so that you both feel like you have time to get your work done. And if you can, try to make the best of this unusual moment in time. Enjoy being able to eat lunch together or take a break and go for a walk, but give each other space to get your work done.
Touch base with your coworkers.
This weird thing can happen when you’re working alone, suddenly you feel like you’re not sure where to start or what to tackle first. Without the regular buzz of your usual environment and routine, it can seem like a bit of a free for all. Get into the work mode by touching base with your other coworkers and/or your boss. Maybe all it takes is a quick video chat or just some instant messaging. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but a morning check-in can go far in helping you get focused and start your day.
Clean up at the end of the day.
When you’ve wrapped up work for the day, clear off that new dedicated workspace you established. If you leave a pile of papers or a mess of unfinished work in a place you are constantly looking at it, it might stress you out and leave you with an unfinished feeling. You don’t want your work tempting you when you’re done with dinner and trying to relax on the couch snuggled up with your dog and a glass of wine.
And speaking of wine…
Don’t drink and work. If you had a flash of inspiration, write it down and deal with it tomorrow. (Honestly, that great idea might not be that great tomorrow morning.)
How have you been adapting to a change in your work routine? How is it going? As we are social distancing in real life, let’s connect in these social spaces, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.