Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

LPM Virtual Services, LLC

Building Bridges & Forming Futures

LPM Lounge

LPM Lounge

7 Essential Tips for Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted on April 17, 2020 at 8:20 PM

In the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory work-from-home policies. That means lots of us are dealing with an unusual challenge: working from home for the first time, full-time.

 

Even if you’ve done it before, working from home because of coronavirus might feel like a whole new world: It’s probably sudden. It might be for an extended period of time rather than a day here and there (and you’re not at all sure how long it’ll last). Your whole company is involved. And you can’t necessarily socialize in person outside of work.

 

These tips will help you make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done and at maintaining your mental well-being:

 

 

1. Get Dressed

It might seem like a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one. Before coming to work for The Muse, I spent about eight months working from home when my full-time office job became a remote position with little warning. It was tempting to stay in my pajamas all day, but any day I gave into temptation was much slower to start and less productive overall.

 

You don’t need to dress as formally as you might for work, but the simple act of changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done. “Don’t underestimate the power of putting on clothes suitable for public viewing. It makes you feel human [and] confident and helps draw the line between being at work and being at home,” says Heather Yurovsky, Muse career coach and the founder of Shatter & Shine. “Feeling human” might seem like an odd thing to have to actively think of, but it’s especially important at a time like this, when the breakdown of your everyday routines might make you feel cut off from your “normal” life and the “real” world.

 

Getting dressed also applies to other appearance-based tasks: Take a shower, brush your hair, even put on makeup if that’s what you’d usually do. You don’t need to go as all out as you would for the office if you don’t want to, but waking up and taking care of your appearance can go a long way toward helping you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.

 

Besides, just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that no one from work will see you. It’s 2020 and we’re all about to have a lot of video meetings.

 

 

 

2. Designate a Workspace or Home Office

One of the big challenges when it comes to working remotely is keeping your work and home lives separate. “For some people it becomes very blurry,” says Muse career coach Lynn Berger, who specializes in helping people navigate career transitions. If you never fully disconnect from work, your work productivity will suffer and your home life can take a hit as well.

 

If you’re used to going into an office each day, the separation between work and home is physical, and you want to try to recreate that as much as possible with a designated physical workspace at home. You may scoff at the idea of a separate room for a home office if, like me, you live in a small apartment. I’m writing this in the room that is my office, kitchen, living room, and dining room all in one. Your workspace doesn’t have to be its own room—in my apartment, it’s a corner—but it should feel as separate from the rest of your home as possible.

 

Try to make your workspace comfortable with a chair you can sit in for eight hours a day and a few decorations. Find an area with good natural lighting if at all possible. Even if you don’t usually spend a lot of time outdoors, losing out on the time you spend outdoors during your commute can start to weigh on you quickly, and it will only happen faster if you don’t have natural light coming in.

 

Entering your workspace will help you turn “on” at the beginning of the day and get down to work. On the flipside, leaving your workspace will also help you turn “off” at the end of the day and fully disengage. That’s why it’s also important not to spread yourself across your home—while it might seem great to be able to move from desk to couch to bed, if you let your laptop creep into your downtime space, it makes it harder to keep your work separate from your home life.

 

If you’re working at a table you need to use outside of work or a room you spend a lot of time in, pack up your work each evening to make the end of your day decisive. When I worked remotely in my last job, I was working on my personal computer, so I’d make sure to close all the tabs and programs related to my job as soon as I was done for the day. The key here is to do whatever you need to do to “leave” your workspace.

 

 

 

3. Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours

Just as you designate and separate your physical workspace, you should be clear about when you’re working and when you’re not. You’ll get your best work done and be most ready to transition back to the office if you stick with your regular hours. Plus, if your role is collaborative, being on the same schedule as your coworkers makes everything much easier.

 

“The biggest difference between working from home and working in the office is that you are in charge of your environment and have to treat yourself like an employee,” Yurovsky says. This means holding yourself accountable, but also recognizing when enough is enough, just as a good manager might. “If you feel yourself extending your work hours because you aren’t doing anything in the evening...tell yourself it’s time to put work away, recharge, and start tomorrow with a fresh mind. The work will be there in the morning.”

 

If you live with other people, this separation is even more critical. Communicate with the people you live with to establish boundaries so you can cut down on distractions during the workday—and then disconnect and give the people you care about your full attention. Having a separate time and space to work will allow you to be more present in your home life.

 

 

 

4. Build Transitions Into (and Out of) Work

Your morning commute not only gets you to work—from one physical location to another—but it also gives your brain time to prepare for work. Just because you’re not traveling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carve out equivalent routines to help you ease into your workday.

 

Maybe you usually read or listen to music on your commute. You can do that at home. Or maybe you can spend some time with a pet or loved one. You can even add in a workout (preferably at home because of the new coronavirus, but see what is being recommended where you live) or spend some time on a hobby (again, make sure it’s appropriate given the health recommendations where you are).

 

At the other end of the day, the evening commute does the reverse. “Commuters often take for granted the time they have in the car or on the train to wind down from a hectic workday and mentally prepare themselves for their evening routine.” Yurovsky says. Generally, you’re not going from getting a huge presentation done right to making dinner or doing chores. If you try to jump directly, “your brain doesn’t have time to hit the reset button, which can make you less present as you transition back into your personal life.”

 

Give yourself something that will signal the end of work and serve as a buffer. When I worked from home, I made it a habit to take my dog for a long walk as soon as I was done for the day. It helped me decompress with something physical and fun, and the habit was self-enforcing since my dog would lie in front of the door when it was time to go or would come looking for me if I was taking too long.

 

 

 

5. Don’t Get Too Sucked in by the News—or Anything Else

Distraction is one of the big challenges facing people who work from home—especially people who aren’t used to it. “Your home is right in front of you,” Berger says. That means that whatever you’re usually thinking about getting home to after work is now with you. It’s human to get distracted. But you need to be wary of how much you let yourself get distracted.

 

You probably already take a few breaks throughout the day at the office, and that’s fine to do at home, too. Using that time to throw in a load of laundry is OK, but try not to look at your new work arrangement as an opportunity to finally clean out that closet or anything else that takes a lot of sustained focus.

 

Right now, one of the biggest distractions is the news. And if you’re working remotely because of the new coronavirus, checking in on COVID-19 updates is going to be at the front of your mind. It’s good to stay informed, of course, but it’s also easy to scroll yourself into an anxious mess.

 

I suggest setting timers for any breaks you take. You don’t want to get too immersed and forget that you’re at work altogether. If you’re someone who’s susceptible to getting distracted every time you get a news alert, turn your notifications off during the workday, too. The news will still be there after 5 PM.

 

 

 

6. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

If you don’t usually work from home, chances are there will be some bumps in the road if you have to suddenly go fully remote. The key to steering through these bumps is communication—especially with your manager and direct reports. Either before you make the switch or as soon as you know it’s happening, come up with a plan that lays out expectations for how often you should check in and how you’ll convey any changes or new assignments to one another. Do the same with anyone you usually work collaboratively with throughout the day.

 

This plan is likely to change as you go. And that’s OK. This is a new situation for everyone. So make sure to circle back and change the plan if problems come up. You’ll also encounter unique challenges as you try to do your job remotely, which can vary greatly depending on the type of work you do. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the same people you would usually turn to for help—even if you’re not in the same building as them.

 

And you don’t have to stick with only text-based communication. “Do not default to email if you would have spoken to a coworker face-to-face while at the office,” Yurovsky says. You might find it’s best to check in with your boss and coworkers over the phone or through video chat. This will cut down on miscommunication and break up some of the social isolation that can come from working from home.

 

Looking for more tech tips that will make remote work easier? Check out this list.

 

 

 

7. Don’t Forget to Socialize

When the whole office suddenly starts working from home, you’re cutting off a lot of the casual social interactions you’re used to having throughout the day that help you feel less lonely and break up the monotony of work. “People forget they need to be around others because it’s the small talk and random fire alarms that keep your days feeling unique and prevent that hamster-wheel feeling. When you work from home, you don’t have that,” Yurovsky says.

 

Combat this by talking with your coworkers throughout the day through Slack, calls, text, Zoom, or however your company communicates. If you usually ask your coworkers about their weekends, keep that up. If you’d usually comment to them about a specific topic, reach out. These little interactions go a long way.

 

Berger also suggests setting aside time to talk to or catch up one-on-one with a coworker. When she’s working remotely she often “gets lunch” with colleagues and friends by setting a time to chat while they eat. (And you should definitely still take a lunch and step away from your work. These breaks are vital even if you’re not leaving your home.)

 

You can also schedule morning video call kickoffs with your whole team so you make space for that first-getting-into-work small talk, or carve out time for other check-ins throughout the day.

 

While you’re at it, don’t just check in with coworkers about this project or that TV show you both like—really check in, Berger suggests. Lots of us are feeling anxious and uncertain right now, and suddenly being isolated at home can amplify these feelings. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a coworker just to ask how they’re doing.

 

All this doesn’t just apply to the workday and people you work with. You may not be able to meet up with friends for dinner after work, but you can organize a group of people to discuss a book or TV show or just to catch up over Google Hangouts. You don’t even need to plan that much: My best friend and I live in different parts of the country but stream TV shows simultaneously so we can text about them in real time. And Facetime your mom, will you? When the world is freaking out, it’s more important than ever that we reach out, connect, and take care of one another.

 

 

 


Author: 

Regina Borsellino was born and raised in New York before moving to the Washington DC area to get a BA in English Lit from the University of Maryland and an MFA in Fiction from American University. 

Categories: Working from home, Covid-19 Tips, Customer Support Strategies

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

8868 Comments

Reply yeezy
6:26 PM on January 17, 2022 
My wife and i ended up being now relieved that Jordan managed to finish up his basic research through your ideas he had from your own blog. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be releasing hints that many others may have been selling. And we fully understand we need you to thank for that. The main explanations you've made, the easy web site menu, the relationships you can give support to engender - it's got all superb, and it is helping our son and us believe that that content is satisfying, which is seriously essential. Thank you for all the pieces!
yeezy http://www.yeezy350boost.us.com
Reply jordan shoes
5:40 PM on January 17, 2022 
I am just writing to let you know what a excellent discovery my wife's princess undergone studying yuor web blog. She noticed plenty of pieces, which included what it's like to have an amazing giving style to have the mediocre ones effortlessly master several complex matters. You actually exceeded people's expected results. Thanks for providing the great, trustworthy, explanatory as well as cool tips on that topic to Jane.
jordan shoes http://www.airjordansstore.com
Reply jordan retro
4:02 PM on January 17, 2022 
I not to mention my pals came checking out the great solutions from the blog then instantly came up with a horrible feeling I never thanked the website owner for them. Most of the men happened to be warmed to learn all of them and already have in actuality been loving these things. We appreciate you truly being considerably kind and then for having some awesome useful guides most people are really desperate to learn about. Our own honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.
jordan retro http://www.jordan-retro.us.com
Reply bape
3:52 PM on January 17, 2022 
I simply wanted to post a simple remark to express gratitude to you for the pleasant items you are giving out here. My long internet search has at the end been recognized with reasonable insight to write about with my company. I would assume that many of us website visitors are very much fortunate to dwell in a fine community with so many awesome people with valuable plans. I feel somewhat happy to have come across your entire webpage and look forward to some more exciting times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for a lot of things.
bape http://www.bathing-ape.us
Reply golden goose outlet
3:00 PM on January 17, 2022 
I want to point out my respect for your kind-heartedness in support of individuals who require assistance with in this theme. Your personal dedication to getting the message around came to be extremely powerful and has all the time helped most people much like me to achieve their objectives. The helpful useful information signifies so much a person like me and even more to my fellow workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.
golden goose outlet http://www.goldengooseoutlets.us
Reply supreme
2:59 PM on January 17, 2022 
I happen to be writing to make you be aware of what a awesome discovery my cousin's princess went through browsing your site. She mastered a wide variety of things, most notably what it is like to possess a marvelous coaching mood to have certain people just thoroughly grasp specific hard to do things. You truly exceeded people's expected results. Thank you for providing such warm and friendly, dependable, revealing and easy tips about the topic to Gloria.
supreme http://www.supremesoutlet.us.com
Reply kobe 11
2:59 PM on January 17, 2022 
My spouse and i have been so relieved when Emmanuel could finish off his basic research through your precious recommendations he gained from your own web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving out solutions other folks have been selling. And we already know we have got the blog owner to be grateful to for that. All of the explanations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the friendships you will assist to foster - it's got mostly sensational, and it is aiding our son in addition to our family believe that the matter is satisfying, which is certainly particularly important. Thank you for the whole lot!
kobe 11 http://www.kobebasketballshoes.net
Reply cheap jordans
2:47 PM on January 17, 2022 
I not to mention my buddies have been taking note of the best things from your web blog and so suddenly came up with a horrible feeling I had not thanked the web blog owner for those tips. The men came for that reason very interested to see them and now have absolutely been having fun with them. Thanks for indeed being really helpful as well as for utilizing certain superb subject matter millions of individuals are really needing to understand about. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.
cheap jordans http://www.jordansforcheap.us.com
Reply kd13
1:03 PM on January 17, 2022 
I am only writing to let you know of the beneficial experience our princess enjoyed using your web site. She discovered a wide variety of things, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a very effective giving mood to get other people effortlessly grasp a number of grueling issues. You actually did more than our own desires. Many thanks for presenting those great, safe, informative not to mention unique tips on this topic to Jane.
kd13 http://www.kd13shoes.us
Reply irving shoes
12:08 PM on January 17, 2022 
I simply wanted to jot down a brief message in order to thank you for some of the superb tactics you are placing at this site. My prolonged internet investigation has at the end been recognized with sensible facts to go over with my contacts. I 'd state that that most of us site visitors actually are rather lucky to be in a fine site with very many awesome people with very helpful solutions. I feel somewhat happy to have discovered your webpages and look forward to many more excellent times reading here. Thank you again for all the details.
irving shoes http://www.kyrieirving-shoes.us.com
Reply bape
11:56 AM on January 17, 2022 
I must point out my affection for your kindness supporting individuals who need help on this one subject matter. Your real commitment to passing the message all through turned out to be especially valuable and have truly enabled people like me to realize their desired goals. Your interesting hints and tips implies this much a person like me and even more to my office colleagues. Regards; from each one of us.
bape http://www.bapesonline.com
Reply off white
11:53 AM on January 17, 2022 
I simply had to thank you very much once again. I am not sure the things that I would have used in the absence of the entire concepts documented by you about this concern. It truly was an absolute intimidating matter for me personally, but considering the expert tactic you resolved that took me to leap for happiness. I'm just thankful for your advice and then hope that you really know what a great job you were carrying out training people today through your blog. Most probably you have never met any of us.
off white https://www.offwhitesoutlet.com
Reply giannis antetokounmpo shoes
9:40 AM on January 17, 2022 
I have to show thanks to this writer just for bailing me out of such a situation. After surfing around throughout the world wide web and finding principles which were not productive, I believed my entire life was gone. Existing without the solutions to the difficulties you have solved by way of the guideline is a serious case, and ones which could have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across the blog. Your personal understanding and kindness in maneuvering all things was important. I don't know what I would've done if I had not come upon such a thing like this. It's possible to at this time relish my future. Thanks very much for the high quality and results-oriented guide. I won't be reluctant to endorse your blog to any person who needs assistance about this area.
giannis antetokounmpo shoes http://www.giannisantetokounmposhoes.us
Reply supreme clothing
9:06 AM on January 17, 2022 
My wife and i ended up being quite contented John managed to round up his basic research using the precious recommendations he had in your weblog. It's not at all simplistic to simply always be giving away key points which most people have been trying to sell. We really fully understand we now have you to thank because of that. All of the explanations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the friendships your site assist to engender - it's got all wonderful, and it's really assisting our son in addition to the family do think this subject is awesome, which is certainly pretty essential. Thank you for all the pieces!
supreme clothing http://www.supremeclothings.com
Reply yeezy supply
8:49 AM on January 17, 2022 
Thank you so much for giving everyone a very nice chance to read in detail from this site. It is often so cool and jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office co-workers to search your website at the least 3 times weekly to read the newest items you will have. And lastly, I'm also actually fascinated with your incredible guidelines you serve. Certain 4 tips on this page are honestly the most efficient we've had.
yeezy supply http://www.supplyyeezys.com
Reply giannis shoes
8:48 AM on January 17, 2022 
I want to express my gratitude for your kindness in support of those who require help on this one niche. Your special commitment to getting the message all through appears to be unbelievably effective and has specifically empowered individuals just like me to get to their dreams. Your amazing useful publication signifies this much to me and much more to my peers. With thanks; from everyone of us.
giannis shoes http://www.giannisantetokounmposhoes.us
Reply a bathing ape
8:47 AM on January 17, 2022 
I would like to express my appreciation to this writer just for bailing me out of such a trouble. Just after researching throughout the internet and obtaining principles which were not pleasant, I was thinking my life was well over. Living without the strategies to the issues you've resolved all through this post is a critical case, and the ones which may have adversely affected my career if I had not come across your blog post. Your actual knowledge and kindness in handling the whole thing was invaluable. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a stuff like this. I can at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for the impressive and effective guide. I won't be reluctant to refer your site to any individual who needs counselling about this situation.
a bathing ape http://www.bape-clothing.us
Reply golden goose sneakers
8:46 AM on January 17, 2022 
I and also my pals were actually checking the great information on the blog while before long developed an awful suspicion I had not thanked you for those techniques. Most of the people were definitely for this reason happy to read through all of them and already have very much been enjoying those things. Appreciate your genuinely considerably thoughtful as well as for opting for this kind of brilliant tips millions of individuals are really wanting to be informed on. My honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
golden goose sneakers http://www.goldengooseshoes.us.org
Reply off white
8:46 AM on January 17, 2022 
A lot of thanks for your own hard work on this site. My niece loves managing research and it's easy to see why. A number of us know all about the compelling form you provide good suggestions by means of your blog and in addition encourage participation from some others on that situation so our own child is always learning a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You're the one carrying out a fantastic job.
off white http://www.off--white.us.com
Reply jordan 13
8:45 AM on January 17, 2022 
Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably spectacular chance to read from here. It's usually so cool and as well , full of a great time for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit your website no less than three times per week to learn the fresh items you have. And indeed, I am also certainly fascinated with the astounding principles served by you. Certain 1 points in this article are without a doubt the simplest we've had.
jordan 13 http://www.jordan13.us.com