Tips on How to Work From Home From Someone Who Does It Every Day
Well firstly, welcome to the jungle.
Keep in mind, working from home has never gotten a bad wrap until ...the pandemic.
So all this talk about "social distancing" and "isolation" is really just a mindset and hopefully by the end of this article, you'll pick up what I'm putting down.
Because I know we're all working in different industries, I can only speak for my own experience.
But alas; the tips.
Tip #1 Put your pants on
There's a reason you don't put sweats on for work. It's going to take everything in you not to put them on. They're soft, probably have pockets — an additional but probably unnecessary layer of satisfaction, but please refrain. Try getting ready as you would for work. As for shoes, slippers are fine :)
Tip #2 Refrain from Netflix
This one hit me like a ton of bricks when I first started working from home. Just because they released a new season of The Circle doesn't mean it's Circle time. Be balanced, take advantage of how much more you'll be getting done every moment you're not fixed on trash TV. Fight the urge.
Tip #3 Get out of bed
Super important and not the most obvious tip. We might look at our bed and even daydream about it while working. Don't do it. You'll get sucked into what can only be described as a mattress rabbit hole, your productivity WILL decrease, and you'll have to explain to your boss that your head wasn't in the game when you turned in that last assignment — it was on a pillow.
Tip #4 Sit at a tabletop or desk
It's important to have a designated area when you get the most work done. A kitchen table or desk is perfect. If you don't have either of those, consider it. Otherwise, you're likely to couch it.
Tip #5 Take a beer break / get some fresh air
I'm a proponent of ice cold beers. If you just finished writing an article titled 'ways to work from home without feeling like a complete slug' or finished a report you can be proud of, treat yourself.
If you're a boss...here are a few additional tips:
Tip #6 Re-evaluate what's meeting-worthy (could it have been an email?)
This one's for the introverted and productive. When you said a mandatory staff meeting was necessary, did you mean it? A lot of the work we carry out, including updates on progress can be shared through project management and communication programs like Asana or Slack. If you have an update, consider a Slack message or email.
Tip #7 Give your team autonomy—works wonders.
You did all the hard work hiring the best team. Trust your people and let them do their best work. If you're concerned with productivity, consider implementing sprints, or a way for the team to show their progress. Nothing's more urgent right now than your team's health so give them enough freedom to do their best work.
Tip #8 Push deadlines
We're in a crazy moment. Be considerate of your team, each of their lives, because everything from daycares to schools to other public places are closing. Gather for a team lead meeting to discuss which deadlines you can push for the sake of everyone's sanity.
Tip #9 Don't be a jerk
When someone tells you they are sick, don't make them work. When someone has something come up because of the Coronavirus, listen and let them do what they need to do. You may think that working from home is code for laziness but after nearly a decade in the remote work industry, I'll tell you, it's not.
In fact, we might be some of the most disciplined and hard working people on the planet.
Not deleting that.
Tip #10 Pay up
Make sure that your team knows that financial hardship isn't going to be a factor for them. Support them with unlimited sick days and give hourly employees a chance to put in hours lost. I'm also happy to personally answer questions and settle any uncertainties you're experiencing by giving your team the flexibility of working from home for the first time.
These are scary times, so let's all pitch in our unique experiences and have a little more faith in humanity when we need it most. Also, wash your hands.