[dropcap]Sheltering at home. Self-isolation. Quarantine. There’s a whole new lexicon to describe our current situation. Regardless of the term you choose, the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to work from home (WFH), and we’re scrambling to adapt. The physical logistics as well as the psychological ramifications are huge. Not only are we reeling from the unforeseen impact of a global health crisis, we’re also charting a new course in workplace behavior—virtually (pun intended) overnight. And that’s stressful. Here are some tips to lower your stress levels while increasing your productivity during these challenging times.[/dropcap]
Define your work zone
It’s important to keep your day job separate from the places where you relax and escape—like your bed or couch. But what happens when you don’t have a predefined space for an office?
If you have a spacious kitchen, you can carve out a bit of turf for work simply by utilizing a large kitchen island or extra counter space. Create specific areas for your papers, laptop plugs and other essentials, so you don’t leave them lying around the kitchen.
If your living quarters are tight, you can cleverly disguise a closet as an office. Add a few shelves to the walls, a desk with integrated storage, and a comfortable office chair to transform the space. Added bonus: You can easily tuck the office away by simply closing the door.
Get the right equipment
Treat yourself to a large computer monitor to anchor your workspace. Order online and have it delivered so you can stay safe at home and help flatten the curve of contagion. At least you don’t have to worry about not being there when your package arrives. You’re not going anywhere.
Find your rhythm
Workdays have their own structure and cadence, but it’s easy to get distracted at home—particularly when your kids are also part of the quarantine. Set your alarm to simulate your regular workday schedule. Build in breaks. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Invest in a good headset or plug in your earbuds and tune out the barking dog and the cartoons in the background. Establish some boundaries with your family members, so they know not to disturb you when you’re in the zone.
Up your digital comms game
Embrace technology to stay connected with co-workers. Whether it’s an enterprise communications platform like Zoom or just FaceTiming on your phone, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. Don’t rely on email to do all the heavy lifting. Effective communications with clients, customers and co-workers means upping your tech game. And video conferencing might even motivate you to change out of your bathrobe.
Stay healthy and stay home. Embrace the new normal and stress less. We’ll get through this together.