Even if you don’t yet own your own business, you may find yourself suddenly working from home during COVID-19 to maintain social distance. Going from an office setting to a home atmosphere isn’t easy. Fortunately, we have some tips to help you adjust and get through this time. You may just love it so much that you decide to work for yourself and come home full-time after the Coronavirus outbreak passes.
Tips for Working from Home During Covid-19 Crisis
Every work-from-home situation is unique. You may have children home from school because of COVID-19 or you may not have children. Perhaps your spouse is doing remote work now as well. Pets who normally get walked by a dog walker need attention and time. There are a million little distractions to juggle and new technology to learn.
1. Set Up a Separate Space
Your first step in working from home should be to set aside a space for your work. If you have a spare room, then this is perfect as you can close the door and walk away when work hours are over. If you don’t have a dedicated home office, a small card table in the quietest corner of your home might work.
What if you have kids home from school and have to keep an eye on them? Set up a work space separate from theirs but still in eyesight.
2. Watch Tutorials and Learn the Technology
If you’re struggling to adapt to Zoom meetings or use remote technology, spend time viewing tutorials on how it all works. People are creatures of habit. They tend to get used to doing things a certain way. Suddenly, we’ve all been thrust into a situation where we have to adapt rapidly to a changing world.
YouTube can be your best friend to figure out how things work. If you still aren’t grasping, ask a member from your IT department to video conference with you and explain the process.
3. Create Specific Work Hours
One drawback to remote work is that you never leave the office because it’s in your home. It’s easy to become a workaholic and burn out. Set aside specific work hours. At the end of the day, set aside anything but the most urgent items and spend time with your family or relaxing.
4. Take Frequent Breaks
If you get stressed over the limitations of working from home, take regular breaks. Walk into your back yard and breathe in some fresh air. Have a snack. Talk to a friend on the phone. Take small breaks to refresh and then come back with a new perspective.
5. Stay in Contact with Work
Although there are many benefits to working from home, there are also some disadvantages. One big drawback is that you’ll not be as connected with your co-workers as if you were in the same office space.
Make an effort to reach out and check in with them. Ask how they’re doing. Meet up after work hours on Mango or in a Facebook group so everyone can have a happy hour together online.
6. Get Help
Being home and trying to juggle work can seem overwhelming. I’ve been known to say, “These people want to eat every day.” You may find you’re cooking more meals and the subsequent cleaning up. Homework questions and taking care of pets and housework – it all adds up.
Although you shouldn’t have anyone outside your immediate family in the house right now, you can still outsource some things. Get your kids homework help with online tutoring services. Ask your spouse to share in the cooking duties. Inform everyone it is frozen pizza night or sandwich night. Older kids can help with chores and even prepare a simple meal. Don’t try to do everything alone.
7. Flip Your Schedule
Is your regular working schedule not working out? You may have success by flipping or splitting your schedule. If you need to phone or communicate with clients during certain hours, get that work out of the way. Then, finish reports and other work at night after the kids go to bed and the house is quiet.
Look for ways to create a more flexible schedule that fits with your lifestyle and current situation. Some jobs may not allow for this, but others will.
8. Find Things to Be Grateful for
Every day, look for something to be grateful for. This is a difficult time in world history. Everyone feels stressed and weary of staying home and self-isolating. COVID-19 is a term we all hope to never hear again after this passes.
If you need to cry, go ahead. Then, pick yourself up and be thankful you still have work or that it’s a beautiful day outside or that your family is safe.
COVID-19 and Remote Workers
Before the virus hit, only a small percentage of workers were at home. Suddenly, we live in a remote economy. Those who’ve been working remote for a long time will have even more tips to help you with working from home during COVID-19. We will all get through this together and you’ll walk away with a better appreciation for what work at home parents go through.
You might also be interested in reading: How to Manage Your Time as a Freelancer