Many of you have been thrust into working from home since the novel Coronavirus has sent thousands of American workers fleeing from their offices. And you might be thinking, “How in the world does anyone do this?”
Telework isn’t easy, but with a few tips, you can make it work for you. There are a few things of which to stay aware: accountability, efficiency, and stress. After all, the last thing you want to do is squander away the work day and stress out about to-dos into the evening.
The most important part of creating a great remote work environment is to establish a few means of accountability.
One of the most challenging things about working from home is maintaining high efficiency. In the office, it’s likely everyone is working throughout the day on various projects and you aren’t too distracted (except for that birthday cake living in the office kitchen–yum). But at home, there are a million options for things you could do–from dishes to laundry to rewatching FRIENDS episodes you’ve seen 100 times.
The number one way to squash stress related to working from home is to plan ahead and establish boundaries.
Many of you have also been thrust into the “working from home with kids” situation while many schools have closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Lucky for you, I did that with one kid, and then two kids, for close to two years. I’m not going to lie; it’s challenging! But here are a few more tips to help you get through these days unscathed:
Even if your children are not school-aged yet, it’s a great idea to give them a schedule of activities. Write it down and put it on the fridge. Kids love schedules because they don’t have to worry about what’s coming next. I also wouldn’t worry too much about screens. Just do the best you can and oversee that the shows/games they’re watching are somewhat educational.
—> Loads of resources here for free kids educational websites <—
2. Kick ’em outside
Nothing helps calm the crazy like running around in the fresh air. If you’ve got a fenced-in backyard (or children who listen better than mine), toss ’em out there with some bouncy balls, bikes and chalk. Target has some cute, kid-size gardening tools, too, if you want to brave the stores (and potentially have little holes around your yard).
3. Schedule calls for nap/quiet time
Even if your kids don’t nap regularly, they can always benefit from quiet time and rest. Institute a policy for at least an hour each afternoon where everyone goes to their rooms and is quiet. Maybe they read or play with quiet toys, but they’re recharging nonetheless. This allows you to focus uninterrupted and have a block of meeting times each day.
It’s important to remember that we can all get through this period of working from home together. Give each other grace and help as often as possible.
I hope these tips help you get as much done during this time as possible–so you have time for other things like reading, dancing, singing, writing, playing, and whatever else it is that you love to do.