Mar 11 2020 10:49 AM - edited Mar 11 2020 10:50 AM
Mar 11 2020 10:49 AM - edited Mar 11 2020 10:50 AM
As a full-time work from home employee, I have found a number of tips and tricks that help me stay productive, sane and happy. While I have many more than 5, here are 5 of my top tips. What's yours? 🧡
As a full-time WFH employee and a Microsoft MVP who loves contributing to the community, I spend a large percentage of my day in my office at home.
Having a clean workspace helps ensure productivity is successful, but also creating a workspace that includes things that make me smile is a huge help.
Little desk accessories, pictures from favorite trips, RGB peripherals that are configured with my favorite colors provide a small but amazingly powerful effect on my happiness.
You would be surprised how many steps you incur and how much you move around when you are in an office. The simple acts of getting something to drink, going to the restroom, etc. add up a lot!
When you are home, you will likely be equally shocked at how little you move to accomplish all those same actions when in a smaller space.
Additionally, the potential for having back to back to back to…(you get the picture)..calls is high and before you know it, you will have not moved from your desk at all
Schedule breaks to go outside, walk around the block. Create step challenges with you’re fellow peers or community, which can help encourage and remind you to get moving.
If you have a home gym that includes a treadmill, you can even invest in an add-on that lets work while walking.
Prepare snacks and meals
When I went into an office every day, unless I was going out to eat, I had to prepare my lunch and because I’m such an early riser, my breakfast the night before to take with me each day.
When you work from home, you may think… “I don’t need to do prepare my lunch in advance, the kitchen is just a few feet away.”
I thought the same. The problem occurred that even if I did my best to schedule breaks and lunch, sometimes calls go long or we get into the zone and forget to make the time to prepare our lunch, so we head to the kitchen and grab any unhealthy quick thing we find and head back to the office…or we just skip eating altogether.
Preparing in advance little baggies of healthy snacks and meals allows us to take that scheduled time and enjoy the break.
The struggle of feeling a complete disconnect from other humans is real! As my wife and children all exit the house for work and school, leaving me completely alone to work, you would be surprised at how fast you begin feeling…alone!
Turning on video for all you’re calls helps with this tremendously.
Investing in a decent webcam, getting dressed each day to allow for use of that camera, doing your hair (Yes…easy for me to say..LOL) and treating your WFH scenario as if you still are going to an office helps make this easier.
Being able to see the facial expressions and reactions of others do amazing things for feeling more connected with your remote counterparts or community collaborators.
Also, don’t feel like you must lose the “water cooler” talk you might be missing from being in an office. Schedule calls with your peers to just “chat” about life, family, kids, current events, sports, movies and so on. Not all your conversations need to be about work and in fact, they shouldn’t be!
In the end, we are all humans, with lives, families, stresses, and emotions. Even if it is a work-related call, start each conversation with, “How are you? What’s new? How have you been?” and you will be surprised how positive the conversation can go after that.
Working from home requires an incredible amount of balance and discipline.
For some that come in the form of avoiding distractions, such as sitting on the couch and watching TV.
For others, the distractions may be the feeling of never actually leaving work. If you work from home, does that mean you are always at work? It certainly can if you let it.
Ensuring you take “field trips” help with this. What is a field trip?
It can be anything that gets you out of the house. It might be going to Starbucks for an hour. It might be going to the park while you finish up that presentation on your laptop.
It might be as simple as going to the store to pick up a couple of things to ensure you change your scenery or even just going for a drive with the family after everyone gets home.
The line in the sand between going completely stir-crazy by being home too much and nearly becoming agoraphobic where you begin feeling like you don’t want to leave can be a very slippery slope that requires awareness and balance.
Plan date nights or family outings in the afternoon or evenings, even if it’s just once a week. Go see a movie in the middle of the day. Surprise a family member or friend with coffee or a meal and watch their eyes light up!
Working from home can provide an incredible amount of empowerment that absolutely will require some getting used to if it’s new to you. Expecting it to feel normal or natural immediately will only result in letdown and frustration.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from others. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. I’d love to chat, provide feedback or even schedule a call to just chat as community friends!
Even though we may not be in the same office doesn’t mean we can’t still collaborate, communicate and support one another.
Mar 11 2020 02:55 PM
These are great tips @David Warner II ! Thank you for sharing! I would like to add that "dressing for work" is my way of "going to work". Im fortunate enough to get company branded clothes that I ALWAYS use regardless of working from home or not. I then changes clothes when I "get home" regardless if I worked from home or not. That allows me to have very clear boundary of work- and private-life.
I also really like your point on preparing lunch/snacks. I´m guilty of failing on that :)