We are all concerned with the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19 and what the future holds. And in addition to the bigger fears, there are everyday issues that we struggle with, like working from home, having our kids at home all day, disrupting schedules, and maybe a little too much. “Time together. "For this reason, the SPI team would like to help by giving 7 tips on how to stay healthy at work from home.
Here at SPI, we're scattered across the country, from Columbus to Chicago to San Diego. Many of us have been working from home for years and we hope that these tips will be useful for those of you who are new to remote work.
No, you shouldn't stay in your pajamas all day. And yes, it's hard to stay focused. Here are some tips from our team to help you survive (and maybe even thrive) from home:
# 1: Request your work area
If you don't have your own home office, finding a job can be challenging. If you have children at home, finding a quiet place without distractions can be even more difficult. Here are some ideas for creating a workspace that you can do your work with:
“Set up a home workstation in a room with minimal visual distractions, and especially with a clear desk. A big monitor if you can afford it. There is a science (Google it) that confirms that productivity increases significantly when you have the ability to work on a large monitor compared to a laptop screen. "- Matt, COO / CFO
"I am sensitive to my work environment and usually have no specific job. I always check in and ask myself whether my current position is conducive to my work. If not, I find a new place. Different tasks require different attitudes for me – but one little sunlight, whether through the window, the glass door, or outside on the deck, is usually very stimulating. ”- Ray, writer
“If you can, carve a special room in a guest room or even in a corner of the dining room. Try different options until you figure out what works. You may want to change your place of work during the day. Try working out on your deck, on the couch, or at the dining table while you work in a cafe or common room. Answering zoom calls can be challenging if you don't have a quiet place. A closet is always an option! "- Karen, senior content manager
# 2: create a schedule
Most members of our team swear to stick to a schedule. However, this can be achieved in several ways:
“Create a clear schedule for the day every morning. Specifically, make a list of the tasks I need to do to achieve my goals for the week. When I'm distracted, I can use this as a compass to get me back in the right direction. Another tip is to take breaks. I have found that if I take time for lunch instead of eating in front of my computer, it helps me to concentrate again in the afternoon and give my brain a little break. “- Andrea, manager.
"Work two and a half hours with 15-minute breaks to stretch, eat, and do the housework." – Robin, writer
“I've been working from home since 2014. My husband also works from home, and we have agreed to consider 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as working hours, so that we only communicate in this window via (typed) chat. We never just go into the other person's work area and start talking so that we can fully concentrate on our work. “- Jess, executive assistant
"I like to start my day with the question" What does success look like today? "Then I'll use my answers to create a plan for the day. I like to use the Pomodoro technique, which includes timed, focused intervals, usually around 30 minutes. I assign how many intervals each task should last, and then track the number it takes to complete each task. It helps me stay focused, track my productivity, and measure my success at the end of the day. "- Sara Jane, partnership manager
# 3: dress for work
One of the great advantages of working from home is that you don't have to get dressed and spend money on work clothes. The downside, however, is that it's easy to let yourself go and not take a shower for days. The SPI team recommends finding a middle ground:
"Dressing up. It's really easy to stay in pajamas all day, but it also affects how you feel about your day. Staying in pajamas feels slow and lazy, and you'll work slower and don’t stay focused. Put on something comfortable (you don’t have to wear a suit) that you would wear outside the house. ”
– Mindy, solution manager
"I definitely start my morning dressing for the day like going to the office. This is a great way to get into the mindset of work. Getting dressed provides a mental readiness for the day and helps me get my morning routine going. “- Jonathan, product manager
“I usually dress in comfortable clothes in the morning that are considered“ professional ”when I call Zoom. I never stay in my pajamas because it makes me feel sluggish. I usually wear jeans or leggings, a nice shirt or a t-shirt with a sweater. "- Karen
# 4: Use the right tools
Thank God that many of us can now easily work from home thanks to technology. Here are some recommended tools:
“If you have a job that you are used to teaching / explaining to others in your office, you should familiarize yourself with a screen recording tool. You can use this to show people how to do things on the computer without having to be in the room with them. Don't worry about the videos getting perfect – just do a quick demonstration of how you would do it if you were in the room together. Loom is a great tool when you need to create more complicated videos. Camtasia is also great, and Mac computers have Quicktime built-in screen recording. "- Mindy
"The SelfControl app for Mac. Blocks time-consuming websites for a certain period of time. Said Nuff. "Beam
"Monday.com is a lifesaver for me!" – Sara Jane
"Google Calendar! My husband and I have a common calendar with calls, demos, interviews and the general time "I need the house to be quiet". "- Jess
# 5: Correct your kids
If you have children, this crisis can be particularly difficult since you don't have time when the children are at school to do your job. Here are some suggestions for juggling childcare and work:
“Segment your parental leave with your working hours. Multitasking does NOT work in children, especially young children who should not be left unattended and / or cannot talk properly. Don't worry that you can do both. Provide each commitment with its own high quality time. "- Matt
"Be patient with yourself and your child. Working with children is difficult. The best thing you can do is set everyone's expectations – for both your employees and your children. As a child, I often had to spend time with my mother when she was working; It always helped if she told me what she was working on and gave me small chores to help her. I submitted for them, shredded papers and sorted out office supplies. It made me very proud to help her, and the filing experience helped me a lot in my early jobs. "- Mindy
“Start work when your child is still sleeping. Then use the great electronic babysitters! -Robin
“We have an emerging family organization system for the next 3 weeks without school (and possibly longer!). A hit list of activities in the left column and a daily schedule in the right column. They know what they're saying about the best plans, but planning is still crucial. "Beam
“We have a strict schedule. The first days of quarantine were total chaos and I confess that screens were used in desperation. But once a strict schedule was set up without any negotiation, things went much smoother. We may relax the schedule a bit in the future, but at the moment I think the structure of my daughter helps me feel more secure. "- Karen
# 6: manage your pets
Pets can offer companionship when working from home, but they can also distract. Our team enjoys seeing the team's pets on our zoom calls (call Hermione, Ducky, Rudy, Finn, Moses, Asher, Nini, Spot, Tigger, Nacho, Mew and Gizmo!).
“Thumbs, Spot and George are the administrative assistants in the home office and love being in front of the camera when making video calls. We often have 5-15 minutes of kitty play time before we have a super important call so they are less inclined to make a cameo. "- Jess
“My cats sleep on my desk or on my lap when I work. They watch birds from my window. But sometimes they can distract when they curl up on my keyboard or want to step in front of my face during a zoom call. If they get too distracting, I put them in the basement and close the door. "- Karen
“In the morning my dog Finn usually sleeps in his bed next to my desk while I work (adorable), or he sits in the window and just watches what happens outside. We take short walks every 2-3 hours and by the afternoon he is ready to play, so I usually take a 15 minute break to play around with him. "- Sara Jane
# 7: Take breaks and go outside
Our team agrees that it is necessary to go outside. Fresh air, sunshine and nature work wonders for the soul.
"Go out! At the end of a working day from home, I make sure that I go outside a little bit, even if it's just a short walk or a quick errand. I also find this helpful because I don't have a designated place for an office and it is easy to continue working from my sofa much later than normal working hours. If I take a moment to walk around the neighborhood, I can end my working day and return to my personal life. "- Andrea
"Get out. Seriously – it is very simple and amazingly powerful. Either alone or with your spouse (if he / she is at home) and take a 30-minute walk. The fresh air, the natural light and the mental separation of all things that electronics / media do, WONDER are for your focus, your energy and your productivity. “- Matt
“Our favorite yoga teachers offer donation-based virtual classes on Zoom or Instagram Live. We practice our yoga on the terrace. We also take a lot of walks in our nearby park to get some fresh air. "- Jess
“Take regular breaks to stretch, go for a walk, play with a pet, or make quick calls just to say hello to a friend or family member. It is important that your brain stops working all day, even for a few minutes, to keep anxiety low and not feel so exhausted at the end of the day. "- Sara Jane
We hope these tips help! If you want more advice, Pat has created this video, in which he gives 10 additional tips for working from home. Enjoy!