With the spread of COVID-19 the last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. There has been a lot of information to digest, a lot of opinions to muddle through, and now many disruptions to our daily lives. And now, millions more people are working from home.
What can you do to adapt to the current situation when working remotely?
I have been working remotely for over 4 years after 20+ years in law enforcement and digital forensics - a career that had me working in secure offices which were typically secluded as well. Working remotely is not for everyone and has its advantages and disadvantages, but by following a few of my best practices, you may find yourself easily making the transition.
- First and foremost is to try and have a separate location for your office/workspace, a place to go to that will serve as your workspace and away from distractions of home life. This is not always easy to accomplish, but if possible, it makes it a little easier to be disciplined about your work. A place for work separate from home life has fewer distractions and allows you to concentrate on your work.
- Once you have a workspace, treat it just as you do at work, make sure everything is at your disposal that needs to be. Make it personal - keep pictures and creature comforts in your area.
- Take breaks. Go get a cup of coffee, water, juice, and go and refill it as you would at work.
- Take your lunch in another area of your home, just as you would if at work.
- Take a ride in the car, go for a walk, do not become sedentary, get up and move around to keep your mind and body fresh.
- Keep patterns that are familiar to you; for example, if you listen to music at work, listen at home.
- Do not fall into the trap of turning on the TV (especially news) and getting sucked into watching and not working. This is not good for your work habits or and it may also make you anxious.
- Lastly, keep in touch with your co-workers; open a chat dialogue or group chat.
Making the transition from an office job to a home office can be challenging. If you are disciplined, do not seclude yourself, and keep active, you will find working remotely can be a nice respite.
Keeping work life separated from home life is essential in creating a productive and creative environment. By following the above suggestions I have created a space that allows me to create our How-to and learning videos as well as conduct our webinars in a quiet and comfortable environment. Following the above suggestions will create an environment free from distractions, productivity, and creativeness will come naturally. I am able to speak with our customers without interruption and focus on what is important in my daily tasks.
Remote work is something I have embraced and enjoy. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, some may find themselves loving it and fighting for it. Whatever your thoughts, hopefully the next few weeks will be a little easier now that you have a plan to move forward.
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