In these troubling times a large portion of society is now working from home. In fact, this could end up being a more permanent change with many companies realizing that their employees do not need to be in the same place of work to get the job done. The world is certainly a changing place, with shopping malls closing down and now, office space could be difficult to lease. The acronym for the title of this piece, WTFH, has "T" for "Together" thrown in to the "Work From Home" aspect because at this time we must do this together. By working from home we are acting together to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Although we are not socializing in person, we are certainly working together as a human race to limit the effects of COVID-19. In the meantime, follow my simple tips ad guidance so as to be the most effective employee or business person you can be by WTFH.
The guide to working from home from someone who has been doing it for 20 years:
- Go to pretend work. What I mean by that is begin the day as if yo are going to the office. Pretend you are getting ready to leave the house. Have breakfast, shower, put on some "real" clothes and settle in at the comfortable spot you call the "office".
- Find the location you function best - if you're not lucky enough to have a designated office, try certain areas of the home. I find a designated space works best, when it's not the living room. If you work on the couch it can be too distracting, with a TV around, but more importantly, when you finish the day and "go home" and then go back to the couch, you're never actually leaving work. Some people might have multiple spaces to freshen up. For example, when I take difficult phone calls, I walk up and down the street...the neighbors must think I'm crazy.
- Turn off distractions - no TV or social media. Some people like background noise, such as music, but I like silence so I can hear the brain cogs churning...but each to their own.
- Be sure to rest. It's easy to get too indulged sometimes, which will lead to burn out. Take designated breaks for snacks and lunch...and do not eat in front of the computer. Be sure to move, get up for water and get plenty of fluids.
- Be ergonomic. If you don't have a proper office or desk, be aware of your position. Leaning forward on a coffee table can tighten certain muscles and lead to a bad back or tight frontal part of the body.
- Don't get carried away...unless you own your own business and every minute turns into dollar bills. Be sure to have a schedule. Set a routine to log off and end the day or it can end up very late and past dinner time.
- Probably the toughest of them all is...How do you deal with the spouse, partner, kids and pets? My wife may come in and ask "What's for dinner tonight, has the dog been fed, or do you need anything from the store?" All I can say is be polite and nice in your response or come up with a humorous answer. Training the kids or dog may be more difficult, however. Time sharing the kids could be an option if you have a partner or neighbors. Also, walking the dog could be a nice distraction and break from work and provide much needed fresh air.