New to working from home? I’ve done it for nearly a decade and can tell you it definitely has some benefits, but also some hidden hazards.
If you are new to working remotely, here are a few tips:
Set a schedule and stick to it. Adhere to strict office hours. Sign on and off at a set time. If you leave your computer up 24/7, you will work 24/7. An email will pop up and you’ll think “Oh, better go check that.” No. Unless you are in a job that requires your constant attention for emergencies, you need to have some work/life separation.
Establish a dedicated work-space. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people set up their “office” on a coffee table in front of the television. Use a separate desk for work, even if it’s just a card table in your bedroom.
If you’re video-conferencing, pay close attention to the wall behind your head. What books are there? Pictures? Decorations? ZOOM allows you to use a virtual background and allows you some privacy.
Take a lunch break. If you don’t eat lunch, you still need to walk AWAY from the computer and go do something else for 30 minutes. Related: DO NOT SNACK. Being home with your kitchen, stocked with all your favorite foods, is the fastest way to gain a ton of weight.
Invest in a decent pair of wireless headphones. This is especially important if conference calls run long. You cannot hold the phone to your head for hours. Plus wireless headphones free your hands to do other tasks.
Use the “mute” function on your phone during conference calls. No one on the call wants to hear your dog, kids, typing, construction noise, background music, or television, and all of those things will be picked up by your microphone. Simply unmute when you need to talk.
Check-in with your team more than usual. It’s difficult to be “present” remotely. Make sure your boss, co-workers, and staff know you’re there and available.
And last but not least, if you video conference, make sure you are dressed from the waist up at least 30 minutes before the meeting begins.