The New Normal: Working from Home

In a time where so many organizations and businesses are struggling to transition and adapt to a work from home model, I feel lucky that I’ve already been acquainted with the ‘new normal’ this pandemic has brought on.

Though Directions has a corporate office, we are a remote company, and with almost two years under my belt I’ve learned the ins and outs of how to be most productive and the best practices of working from home.

I thought I would take this opportunity to share some tips and tricks for anyone else out there who is working on settling into their work from home routine and maybe even struggling to transition from the ‘typical’ office environment they’re used to. Don’t forget, I was once in your shoes too!

When I began working from home, I was both excited and nervous. I knew there were many benefits that came along with being a remote worker, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how it would go.

I’m the type of person that feeds off other’s energy, I was concerned the lack of the ‘normal’ office environment I was used to would have an effect on my motivation and make me feel isolated.

If I’m being honest, that’s exactly what happened, and that’s what brought me to create my new routine. I hope these tips help you adjust to the new normal as well, and don’t forget, we’re in this together!

1. Don’t roll out of bed a minute before work.

If you wake up right before you start work, you’re going to lose your first hour of productivity to a groggy brain. Get up early to give yourself time to wake up, eat breakfast, and prepare for your day. When 8 o’clock rolls around, you’ll have a clear head and the energy to start your day off on the right foot.

2. Get dressed!

It will be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day. Let me help you out…DON’T! I’m not saying you must wear a dress and heels or a suit and tie, feel free to throw on casual clothes, but changing out of your pajamas helps you transition from a lounging mindset to a work mindset. Not to mention when you look good, you feel good. Even if looking good for you means throwing on a pair of pants instead of your bath robe. Believe me, I know from experience, a little bit of effort goes a long way.

3. Similarly, don’t work from your bed or couch.

Trust me on this one. You’re comfortable. Too comfortable. Your brain thinks it’s time to relax and next thing you know you’re struggling to keep your eyes open. Do yourself a favor and set up a workstation at a desk or table. It puts you in a work mindset, helps differentiate your work life from your home life and has a major impact on your productivity level.

4. Plan out your day.

Creating a schedule for yourself at the beginning of the day helps you work more productively and efficiently. Plan out how you will spend your time, what projects you will be working on and what task’s you’ll be completing. Having a schedule to follow will help prevent you from getting distracted and give you structure.

5. Communicate, communicate, and don’t forget to communicate.

It’s easy to feel like you’re siloed when you’re working remote but there’s a pretty simple solution for that. Communicate! Communicate with your team about projects you’re working on, ask questions, check in with your coworkers just to chat! In an office environment, you often have small conversations with others throughout the day whether you’re stopping by a coworker’s desk to say hi or telling a story about your weekend in the break room. Don’t stop just because you aren’t physically in the presence of your coworkers. Communicating keeps you and your team connected, and it fills our instinctual need for human interaction.

6. Take breaks!

Sitting in a room by ourselves staring at a computer screen for 8 hours straight is not healthy. Personally, I know I am much more productive with short, frequent breaks than I am sitting in my home office alone working hours on end. Whenever you feel like you need it, step away from your desk to do something unrelated to work. Read a news article, have a snack, unload your dishwasher, take a quick walk! Anything to give your brain a little break, you’ll come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to be work again.

7. Cut yourself some slack.

Transitioning to working from home when you’re used to a bustling office environment can be difficult. Give yourself time to adjust and know you may have days that are harder than others. Not everyone is the same. Create a routine that works for you and stay focused on your goals. You’ve got this!

Author: Shannon M.