Best Practices for Working from Home During COVID-19
Among the many challenges COVID-19 has introduced are those associated with working from home. While working from home can seem like and may be a terrific opportunity, it can actually be more upsetting to work/life balance than going into the office each day if you aren’t careful. These tips can help you adjust and ensure that you remain productive while not jeopardizing your home life, relationships or mental health.
Get Your Own Space
If at all possible, try to set up home office space in a separate room with a door that closes. Your dining room table or, even worse, your bedroom should not become spaces that you associate with work. This helps you keep your home and work life separate.
Lots of people have been touting the pleasures of wearing pajamas all day, but it’s much easier to get into a work mindset if you get dressed. This doesn’t mean wearing your most uncomfortable work clothes, but you might think along the lines of “business casual.” If you’re going to be doing a lot of video conferencing, you might consider setting up a dedicated space for it. Everyone is forgiving of the occasional intrusion from children or pets, but you should prioritize projecting a professional image. An LED light ring can substantially improve the way you look on video software. For a background, try to avoid both clutter and a stark white wall. Think tasteful without being bland.
Stay on Schedule
As tempting as it can be to sleep in and take frequent breaks to do household chores throughout the day, it’s best to try to observe the same schedule you would at the office. This also means taking breaks that are real breaks and that get you away from both office work and housework. You should set boundaries on communications as well with the exception of emergencies, confining your responses to emails and phone calls to business hours.
An answering service can be a great way to help you manage these boundaries throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. A service with a dedicated, professional staff can field calls during your off hours and ensure that only the most important get directed your way. Training within your industry means that they will be able to handle these calls with sensitivity and accurately determine when they need to be escalated and when matters can be put on hold until you are back in your home office again.