Working From Home

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A woman with a coffee cup and a computer monitor behind her.Many people are attempting to work from home during the current lockdown. Here are some tips for being effective without having to go into the office.


  • It's easy to get up in the morning and just start plugging away at the day's work, but it is best to shower and get dressed. Be presentable and have breakfast so you can better focus for the first few hours. These tasks will help you transition to work mode without your normal commute.

  • Keep your work hours regular and take occasional breaks throughout the work day. A timer will help you pull away after a reasonable amount of time, perhaps every two hours. Be sure to stand up and stretch as your home setup may be nowhere near as ergonomic as your office at work. Don't forget to take a longer break for lunch and when your work day is over. It's easy to work more hours than necessary but it's important for you to transition to home mode and spending time with your family.

  • If you are trying to work around your family, it's best to have a dedicated room as your office. That will keep the everyday chaos from distracting you too much. However, you may need to watch the kids during the work day or are set up on the dining room table. This can be more of a challenge and will take constant refocus and redirection. If your hours are flexible, working very early in the morning or after the kids go to sleep might be your best option.

  • Many people like to listen to music while they are working. It can keep you on task and make the time fly by. Podcasts can also be a good diversion. Some people can even work while watching television or a movie, especially when doing repetitive tasks. Others cannot listen to spoken words, it's just too distracting when trying to write emails or other creative work.

  • Avoid thinking about home cleaning tasks or errands that need to be accomplished. It's easy to feel guilty about the mess when you are home but can't take the time to fix it. Ask family members to help with the house's upkeep by doing the dishes or switching laundry. You can tidy the house or run errands before you start the work day, on your lunch break or before heading to bed.

  • Do not look at social media or the news during your work hours. It is very easy to get distracted and realize that an hour or more has passed with nothing to show for it. Good discipline here will help you to get more done during your work day.

  • Be sure to take your regularly scheduled days off as a non working day. Try scheduling appointments or shopping trips to those days. If your employer is flexible with how your weekly hours are allocated, you can stretch the work week to 6 days, perhaps working two half days. But be sure to take one day entirely off. Your brain and stress levels need the rest.

If you have any advice about working from home to add, please share it. Wishing you a productive time working from home and a quick return to normalacy for all of us.


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