The Home Office: Everyone Suddenly Now Has One

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The outbreak of Coronavirus has many people working from home. While those with an extra bedroom might already be set up to do the daily grind from a room down the hall where they sleep, no one saw a scenario where the majority of the nation now finds themselves stationed inside their “Home Sweet Home” with their briefcase or toolbox by their side.

So, are you ready to approach your boundaryless day? In case you find yourself in a scenario where your personal and work lives have finally met and you’re discovering it might not be a match made in heaven, we have a few tips for how to remain productive.

  1. Set up shop. Before bed, get yourself organized in a space that you can make your own. Put out your laptop, journal, pen, calculator, etc. That way, when you wake up, you’re ready to go.
  2. Set your alarm. Don’t sleep in. Much like hitting the snooze three times and being late for the office, this bad habit will set your day in a funk from the start.
  3. Get dressed. It’s okay to dress comfy, but your onesie won’t make you feel like all you want to do is “win, win, win.” Put your hands up and pull those jammies off. You’ll thank us if your boss tries to FaceTime you.
  4. Know your habitat. If you have to take a conference call, make sure those on the other side of it don’t hear your kids yelling or dogs barking. Scout out a place where you can go if you need quiet or proper light for video-conferencing.
  5. Hit the break room, but not too hard. Eat like you do at work to maintain your mood and energy. Too much sugar might mean that you’ll have nothing left to wear back to work but your PJs when you get the green light to return.
  6. Connect with your team. Don’t go it alone. Ask for help when and if you need it. Email, texting, and slack are all great to stay in touch, but hearing someone’s voice might be just what you need to figure out a problem or lift your spirits.
  7. Take advantage of your resources. Many workplaces have playbooks, shared drives, VPNs (virtual private networks) or clouds, CRMs (customer relationship management system), and other tools that you are set up on and can keep you in the game.
  8. Learn new skills. Maybe you never had to use your company CRM before because of your position or maybe there is a technical skill you’ve always wanted to pick up. There’s no one to talk to during your 15-minute break so now’s your chance to make it worthwhile.
  9. Show up to the conference. When you’re on a team call, communicate wisely. Speak up to offer relevant content; hold back if you’re just speaking to be heard. And don’t forget to announce when you are talking to make sure that Michael Scott doesn’t get credit for that big idea of yours.
  10. Speaking of that big idea… now’s the time to work on it. You no longer can make the excuse that you didn’t have time to explore it in depth or complete that project that you’ve shelved. The time has actually come!
  11. Stick to quitting time. Keep regular hours to help you maintain work-life balance and avoid the burnout of social distancing.

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