Written by: Morgan Elliott
Over the past months, there has been a sudden increase in remote workers all across the world. All thanks to COVID-19. On top of all uncertainty surrounding us, we have to adapt to new working conditions. It’s hard to cope with the loss of the usual routine, remote work, and family and parental duties all at once. However, with a good organization, you can manage it all. Your work and family don’t have to suffer. Here are some tips and tricks on how to organize your work when working from home.
Maintain Your Usual Routine
The fact that you no longer have to commute to the office doesn’t mean you have to break your routine. On the contrary, maintaining the usual routine is good for you. It keeps your work spirit up and prepares you for a busy schedule. Do you get up early to jog, take a shower, and have a proper breakfast before going to work? Or you like to sleep a little longer, get dressed, and take a sip of strong black coffee before you leave the house? Whatever is your pre-work schedule, make sure you stick to it even when working from home. Recreating those steps will keep you organized and help you ease into the new work environment.
Connect with Coworkers
Now more than ever it’s important to stay in touch with family and friends. The same goes for relationships among coworkers. Remote work doesn’t stand in the way of your communication. It simply makes it more challenging. Your employer must have equipped you with high-end tech tools and devices to do your job right. One of those tools is maybe an intranet portal that connects all remote employees. Once you and your coworkers are connected, you can communicate like you normally would in the office.
Since you’re all scattered around the country or even the world, you must communicate effectively. Only by communicating, will you be able to share the latest news and ideas which help you perform well. Don’t forget to spare some time for informal communication. A casual chat with your coworkers will relax you and give you the energy you need to get through your tasks faster.
Set Up an Office
Although you no longer work in an office, you still need one. Working at the kitchen counter or from the bed isn’t a good idea. To stay on top of things, you have to have an organized workspace. Now, this doesn’t mean you should build or redecorate one of the rooms. That would take time and money. In the end, you would stay behind on work assignments and become stressed.
All you need to set up a home office is a space, a desk, a supporting chair, a window, and a laptop. Everything else is optional. When setting up a home office, you have to keep it simple and practical. You don’t need too much space. But you do need a window so natural light and fresh air can come in. A laptop or tablet is your main work tool. One important advice regarding your space is to keep it tidy and organized. Take a couple of minutes at the end of the workday for cleaning and decluttering.
Organize Your Workflow
When you work from home, you can easily get distracted. Your kids need your attention, your dog wants you to take him for a walk, or your partner has meetings all day. On top of that, TV plays in the background, lunch on the stove, and the washing machine is on. With so much going on in the household, how can you focus? For this reason, you should organize your workflow.
Make a list of all tasks you have to complete. Set priorities and organize them. Here’s an extra tip. When you work on a certain task or project, make some side notes. This way, every time your kids interrupt you, you can continue where you left off. It will save you some precious time and help you be more productive and organized.
Take Breaks Often
Working from home and raising a family means your plate is full most of the time. With so many things to do during the day, we often forget we’re human too. We need time to relax and recharge our batteries for the next round.
To stay healthy and fit, you should take frequent breaks throughout the day. Every 10 to 15 minutes take some time to stretch. Every hour and a half, leave the desk and take a walk around the house. Take a lunch, snack, or coffee break. Check-in on your kids in the other room. Take your dog out for a walk. The activity itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that you distance yourself from work for a short period. When you return to your work, you will have a fresh perspective, a relaxed mind, and a longer attention span.
Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of three. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran (although kids prefer Franz Ferdinand, and the husband Blink182) and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things.