Due to high call volume, we recommend contacting us through chat or email with questions.

WFH Chronicles by Our Exec. Director of OD & HR

Employee Work From Home Tips

Posted on 08, April, 2020

Last Modified on 10, April, 2020

Working remotely comes with amazing perks, right? No commute, more flexibility… wearing sweatpants and slippers at your desk. What could be better? As we all adjust to full-time work from home, we may be realizing that maintaining some semblance of balance is one of the biggest challenges telecommuting presents. So, I thought I would share some guidance on how to manage Work From Home (WFH)… without burning out or losing work-life balance.

Please Remember: We are all working from home – not living at work.

I think we can all agree full-time WFH can blur the boundaries between your personal and professional life? It’s easy to let self-care go out the window… and you may find yourself overworking to continuously feel productive by doing things like:

• Rationalizing checking just one more task off your “to-do list”, only to look up and see hours have passed
• Sitting in front of the TV answering emails, even though you’re supposed to be decompressing
• Finding yourself thinking about work around-the-clock, including when you’re with family... all of this is an absolute recipe for losing work-life balance and burnout

Yes, the ability to WFH is associated with greater job satisfaction, however research also finds that remote workers are more likely to go beyond normal hours and put in more effort than is required. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, as many of us as possible are working from home.

We found ourselves going from working in the office with our teams and sharing our working spaces, to completely working by ourselves overnight. It can be a huge transition and requires that we pivot how we manage our workloads... and ourselves.

So – how do we disconnect when we lack the physical separation of leaving the office behind? Here are a few actions everyone can take to WFH without losing work-life balance:

Adjust Your Expectations

Alarm Clock

Adjust expectations of yourself accordingly. Do not hold yourself to having to sit in a chair for the same forty (+) hours a week as you would in the office.

There will be moments of loneliness for some of us. Avoid feeling like you are on an island by interacting virtually with your teammates by sharing something funny, attending a virtual lunch or happy hour… There will also be moments of distraction (family, significant others, roommates, pets, kids, homeschooling… and so on.)

Either way - take pauses to walk-around, stretch, exercise, eat and stay hydrated… whatever you do, just take breaks! Put a daily calendar entry in your outlook – showing you are BUSY – and make yourself some lunch and eat AWAY from your computer. Communicate with your manager if you need to block off specific times to tend to homeschooling needs. Whatever it is – the business will survive while you take a few moments for yourself. In fact, the team will be better for it – because you are taking care of yourself!

Set A Designated Work Area

Home Office Workspace

Try to pick out a space in your house and station yourself there. Wherever that space ends up being is up to you – but just be sure to establish a dedicated workplace that is a hub for work, and allows you to walk away from your “work station” – versus constantly carrying your laptop around with you. If you do not designate a work area – then every area of your house becomes a work area. Trust me, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Get Into A Routine

Have a schedule and daily routine. Be sure to include everything you would normally do in the run of a day, including spending time with your family and taking time for yourself.

Prompt Yourself To Wrap It Up

At the office, we have the visual cue of our teammates leaving to signal the day is winding down. In absence of that, set an alarm on your phone or calendar thirty minutes before you should be wrapping up for the day. You don’t have to call it quits exactly then but start the process. It's a great way to stay aware and nudge yourself to wrap up for the day.

Power Down

Power Button

It sounds simple, but turn off your computer completely. Powering down should trigger you to stop “jumping online for a minute” after hours. Whatever it is – I promise you; it will be there in the morning. You can also try deleting the overabundance of work-related apps from your phone.

Plan The Next Day

Calendar

It’s hard to switch off from work when you have tasks and to-do’s swirling through your brain. Try to end each day by planning the next one. Take 5 to 10 minutes to define your top 3 priorities for tomorrow. This gives you peace of mind that your most important projects are captured, which puts your brain at ease and lets it relax.

Take Meaning From The Day

Power Button

The difference between a good day and a bad day is all in how you interpret it. You get to decide whether you’ll view the day from a growth-oriented mindset or negative one, so choose wisely. Mentally note your top moment – something that went well or was a success and your bottom moment – something that did not go well however, move past it and know there is always an opportunity to improve.

Create Accountability

Make commitments that force you to end work – on time. In the age of coronavirus, that might be a virtual happy hour with friends, connecting with family or having dinner, a movie night or playing board games with your significant other or your kids.

Detox Your Attention

Home Office Workspace

Your mind responds to the stimulus it is given. If you keep giving it intense, demanding material – like continuing to check emails or working past your capacity – your mind will stay on high alert. Wind down at the end of the day by giving your brain a break. Read a book, watch something funny, focus on a hobby that interests you. The only rule is that it cannot be professional or business related!

Notice The Signs Of Burnout

Avoid Burnout

Burnout occurs in response to prolonged stress and overworking. This includes physical symptoms like headaches along with emotional ones, such as a negative attitude about your work and a loss of motivation. You may find yourself short-fused with family or team members, or easily offended by even the slightest criticism. If you burnout – you end up exhausted, and feeling like you’re not productive enough, or falling behind. Avoid this!


Avoid Burnout

Transitioning to remote, even if temporary, is a process. You cannot “copy” your in-office environment and “paste” it into your remote one – then just expect to function as usual. We aren't robots. We are creative beings who operate on work/rest cycles. A balanced approach to WFH can make you more productive, but if you keep working long hours at home and skip the suggestions above – you risk being less productive and eventually burning out. Please know your work/life balance and your health is paramount to us – please make it your priority too.

Stay healthy and safe!

Adding to cart...