Even though the COVID-19 pandemic was well-publicized as it began in Wuhan, China, its steady and relentless push throughout the world has quickly become a shocking reality in the United States.
Virtually overnight the entire nation was told to work at home if all possible. You are probably one of the millions affected, and if you are having some difficulty adjusting to a radically changed workspace, check out these seven tips that will help you cope with this suddenly weird landscape.
Upgrade Your Home Technology
If you had two monitors at work, make sure you have the same configuration at home. If you had a comfortable keyboard at the office, don’t try to do your work on a tiny laptop. Your Internet connection will be key to remote working success, and if your Wi-Fi setup provides you with an erratic signal, use an Ethernet connection instead.
Set Up a Dedicated Office Space
Some people can work on the lawn chair outside using only their laptops, but that may not work for you. If you are lucky enough to have an extra bedroom, turn it into an office and use that space for work only. Sure, your commute is going to be very short, but at least you will have a place that you can call “work.” It’s also helpful to be able to leave your workspace at the end of the day and a spare room office will help you do that.
If you liked holing up in your cubicle at work and talking to no one, this is going to be easy, but if you are a very social person, working remotely can make you feel isolated. Therefore, feel free to open all lines of communication with your co-workers like text, instant messaging, FaceTime, and of course voice calls.
Attend the Virtual Office Events
Ok, that first office Zoom meeting is going to be weird, but you may actually find yourself looking forward to these meetings after a while. If nothing else, it will cause you to dress decently—at least from the waist up.
Whether you live in a huge penthouse in New York City or a small studio in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood — or anywhere in between — make sure you schedule breaks and take them! Get up from your desk and take a walk, ride your bike or and get some exercise. If you took two 15-minute breaks at work, do the same at home.
Make Lunch a Big Deal
If you must log in and logout to record your daily time, do take your scheduled lunch break. And when it’s time to eat, go outside or at least into another room. Block off that lunch hour and make sure you do not work through it. This will give you something to look forward to at the start of the day.
Keep Up with Friends
If you regularly met friends after works or even at lunch, try to keep these relationships going while you are working remotely. This will give a sense of normalcy to your day.
These are weird times—make no mistake. Current remote workers can probably sail right through, but for those of you that spent your days at the office, try our seven tips to help you get through this challenging time.