There are a lot of individuals who feel stressed out because their regular work routines have been interrupted. They’re working from home, and they’re not acclimated to it. They’re used to dashing to work in the morning, and starting their “day at the office” in their bedroom or basement seems odd to them.
Rushing to work in the morning has its disadvantages, though. Driving over the speed limit causes 26% of all fatal accidents, and that’s not going to happen inside your house or apartment. Still, it’s a difficult transition if you aren’t used to it. Let’s talk about how you can start to normalize working from home in the time of Covid-19.
Set a Rigid Schedule
We are living in unprecedented times. Nothing like this has taken place since the Spanish flu a century ago, and human life on this planet looks a lot different now than it did then.
Part of what might be so hard for you working from home is that you’re out of your usual element. Maybe you’d typically be sitting at a cubicle, keeping time by the clock on the wall. Now, there’s no boss to dictate when you’re necessarily supposed to be starting work, or taking a lunch break.
The answer is to try and adhere to the same schedule you would have undertaken at work. For instance, you can set times for things like:
- Starting work
- Coffee breaks
- Lunch breaks
- Ending the workday
Don’t Let Anything Distract You
As you work from home, make sure that if you’re cohabitating with others, they know not to disturb you when the door to your bedroom or office is closed.
If you have kids that are being homeschooled by someone else, explain to the children and your spouse or partner that they need to take the boundaries seriously that you are setting up. They can’t barge into your room when you are on a conference call, for instance.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are some forms of technology that are available now, which can make your life a lot easier during this difficult time. Some examples would be:
Your work might have a preferred platform for meetings. This new tech can be a little nerve-wracking sometimes if it doesn’t work quite how it’s supposed to, but usually, you’ll be able to get the hang of it.
In time, you should get used to it, especially if you are using it every day with the world in its current state.
Make Time for Your Loved Ones
You might be working from home, and you have to take that seriously, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit with your family throughout the day. Just as you can have set times for meetings or other work tasks, you can also have breaks during the day to play with the kids or enjoy some downtime with your spouse or significant other.
Remember that even though you’re trying to provide for the family, too much work can lead to stress, either at home or when things go back to normal. This pandemic offers an opportunity to see your loved ones more, and you should be able to do both if you plan things right.
You want to show them that you care and that you’re not the proverbial workaholic. What are you working for if not for their benefit? Take time each day to show them that you love and appreciate them.
Try to Learn from this Experience
This is no doubt a challenging situation, and we don’t know quite when things will go back to what they were. However, this is a singular opportunity for you to see what it’s like to be a freelancer or a member of a profession that usually works from home.
Perhaps, even if you go back to work at an office one day, you will have a new appreciation for what it means to be a member of the workforce who telecommutes. In fact, you might end up liking it so much that even when things return to normal, you might want to stay at home for good.
These are trying times, but if you’re dipping your toe into the water of working from home, then you should be able to figure out a way to make the most of it. Be patient with your loved ones, and try every day to be considerate of each other’s feelings as you navigate these unforeseen circumstances.