COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of life as we know it, especially the way we work. Countless companies and employees have adopted remote work styles to better encourage social distancing and prioritize public health. For some, remote work might be a temporary phase necessary to make it through the pandemic but others are looking at indefinite remote work as the new norm.
If you, like me, are going to be working remotely indefinitely from here on out, don’t fret. While it’s a big change, remote work certainly has its benefits – no commute, home lunch breaks, and a quieter office setup, just to name a few. Working from home has its perks and if you’re doing it for the long haul, you’re probably going to want to reconfigure your home work space to set yourself up for success.
Here are a few tips for setting yourself up for indefinite remote work:
1. Setup a practical workspace.
Your employer will likely ask what office supplies and technology needs you have in order be productive while working from home. In my case, my boss sent me a work-issued laptop, computer display monitors, a keyboard, and a mouse.
Make a list of items you need your employer to send you. Be reasonable, as they might not be able to make every accommodation, but generally speaking your boss will issue the items you need to get you comfortable in your new setup.
2. Organize your setup in a practical room.
When COVID-19 first hit and many workers switched to working from home, they set themselves up in a corner of their living room, an area of their bedroom, or even at their kitchen table. We all thought this remote work lifestyle was a temporary thing. All these months later, it’s safe to say those temporary arrangements aren’t terribly practical.
Dedicate part of your house for your home office – preferably a room with a door. You’ll want a space where you can have privacy to take calls, tune into meetings, and get your work done without any household distractions interrupting, like the dishwasher running, mail being dropped off, or your dryer beeping.
3. Set firm hours.
When you work from home, the line between personal time and professional time can easily get blurred. It’s difficult to refrain from doing the dishes in between meetings, but try. Set firm hours that you need to be in your home office working.
Your job probably has shifts outlined in your job description, but if it doesn’t, make sure you communicate with your boss as to what hours you are expected to be online working and available to your team. For example, I work 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and let others know that I cannot be interrupted during that window.
4. Remember to be patient with yourself.
Working from home indefinitely is a unique work situation. There’s no end in sight. No communal coffee breaks with colleagues, cubicles arranged next to work pals, or face-to-face meetings held in the same room.
You need to be patient, flexible, and adaptable to making working from home a successful reality. Keep an open mind and stay positive. While the office norms you might have been used to before are a thing of the past, it doesn’t have to be all negative.
Working from home gives you the opportunity to save time by not commuting, making healthy lunches at home, and even having more time to squeeze in a workout during the day. Moreover, you get to wear comfy clothes without worrying about a corporate dress code, have less distractions of colleagues chitchatting while you’re trying to get work done, and get to have your pets sleep next to you while you’re hard at work. Be patient as you make these big changes to your schedule and try to see all the benefits of a remote job.
Do you have any tips for employees preparing for indefinite remote work? Drop them in the comments!