Over the past couple of weeks, many organizations have been faced with the challenge of figuring out how to move their teams to a remote work environment, while also thinking about how they can stay productive. At Sapphire, we are lucky to already enjoy the freedom to work remotely when needed. Our Founder Jenn Lisak Golding believes in working when you want, where you want, as long as you get the work done. She recognizes that everyone is productive at different times and has created a productive and flexible environment to ensure we do our best work. She thought it was important to share our tips for working from home with others so they can benefit during this time. The sudden transition to working from home has left some unsure of best practices. Here are some tips that can help you work from home and not catch cabin fever.
1. Keep your routine
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth saying again: even though you’re working from home, it’s beneficial to still get dressed for work and keep your normal routine. It will put you in the right mindset for working in a space that usually feels separate from your professional life.
Similarly, don’t underestimate the amount of time that you would normally spend commuting to and from work or client meetings. Many use this time to listen to music or podcasts or simply gather their thoughts for the day ahead.
Give yourself this transition time to go in and out of work mode, but don’t feel like you need to do the same activity or for the same amount of time. Meditate, read, stretch: whatever works for you. It’s all about helping your brain move from one part of your life to another.
2. Schedule breaks
Scheduling breaks helps those that might be prone to both overwork or being distracted throughout the day. Those that overwork will feel refreshed and more productive after a break. And those who err on the side of procrastination can scroll on their phone guilt-free during those scheduled minutes.
Mark breaks down in your work calendar and try to stick to it. We know last minute things pop up so don’t beat yourself up if you miss or extend them every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit.
3. Establish areas for both work and play
We can’t all have a dedicated room to use as a home office, but wherever you’re working from, make sure it’s conducive to productive work. Clear the clutter, gather papers you need, queue up your work playlist.
And if you have others around the house during your workday, let them know about the physical boundaries of your makeshift office, but try not to take up the entire kitchen counter.
While your workspace calls for productivity, allow areas outside of that to be fun and calming. Hang up art that you never got around to putting up. Set out some of the things that make you smile or plan short activities you can do on breaks.
DON’T GO STIR CRAZY
1. Spend time with your furry coworkers
Depending on your critter, the sudden shift to working from home could be entirely exciting for them or they could be wondering why you’re interrupting their schedule. Either way, take some time out of your day to spend with your pets.
Pets can help lift your mood and offer a distraction if and when you find yourself stressed about work or the state of the world. Give your cats a good chin scratch, take your dog for a walk on your lunch break, hang out with your ferret after dinner. Make the most of the extra time you have to spend with them.
2. Make a list of activities you can enjoy from home—then do them!
Start doing all those things you said you’d do one day when you had the time. If you’re practicing social distancing, now you have that time. Fill your evenings and weekends with fun activities that you can do alone, with your family, or virtually with your friends. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Play a board game online with friends
- Read those books that have been on your list for a while
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
- Put down on paper that book you’ve been writing in your head
- Do some coloringStart a new hobby
- Learn a new language
3. Communicate with loved ones
While many introverts likely feel they have been training for this all their life, both those that gain their energy from socializing and those that require solitude to recharge need to stay connected with friends and family.
Startup those old group chats and begin new ones. You can even try out group video chats.
Chat on social media, pick up the phone (grandmas always appreciate a call), even try your hand at letter writing; anything that gets you to connect with others outside of your home.
This applies to work as well. If you’re missing the socialization you’d normally get through watercooler talk with coworkers, set up a standing group call or video conference to tell each other what you’ve been up to.
For many, working from home requires a different approach to their day, and likely some different or extra hardware to make it work. Staying productive both in and out of a professional setting will take extra effort.
But we also recognize those that can’t work from home during this period. We’d like to thank them for offering vital goods and services at this time.
Sapphire Strategy is incredibly grateful for our clients, and our friends and families. We look forward to continuing to serve our clients during this time. We’re all in this together.