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Advice About Working From Home
Working from home is not all sitting in front of your laptop in your sweats. If you have been asked – or ordered -- to work from home, here are some things experts suggest to help with the transition:
Have a dedicated office space. It doesn’t have to be a completely separate room, but it also should not be the kitchen table. You might use an unused dining room or a section of your bedroom. You should be able to close the space off from the rest of the house. Set it up with your supplies, your electronics, and a comfortable desk and chair. If you don’t have an office chair, see if your employer will let you take one from work.
Know how to contact IT. Technology is the life blood of working from home. If you have not used your work technology from home, you might experience some problems. You need to know how to reach the people who can help you if that happens.
Make – and keep to – a schedule. Decide when you want to start work, and then be at your desk at that time. Choose a quitting time, and then try to keep to it. Things might come up you cannot control – this is an international crisis, after all. But your productivity and your sanity depend on controlling as much as you can. And that starts with a schedule.
Set goals for yourself. You should have a list of daily goals as well as weekly and monthly goals. Those lists serve to keep you on task and avoid wasting so much time that you can never catch up. They also help keep things from falling through the cracks.
Stay in touch with co-workers. Community is a very important part of the workspace, wherever it is. Communicate with co-workers by phone, email, text, videoconference. That will help you avoid feeling isolated and unhappy.
Don’t expect perfection. This is especially true if your kids and/or spouse are also in the same home as you are. All but the youngest children are capable of understanding that there are times when you are working and they must be quiet and not disturb you. But it is possible – even likely – that at some point there will be a domestic crisis. Handle it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Try not to stress. Yes, this is disturbing and difficult and maybe out of your comfort zone. But it is the right thing to do. And it will end at some point.