Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
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.





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, you forgot something.


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


Reply yeezy wave runner 700
2:47 AM on January 22, 2022 
A lot of thanks for all of the hard work on this site. Ellie loves participating in investigation and it's easy to see why. I know all concerning the compelling manner you produce functional techniques on your web blog and as well as improve response from visitors on the point then my child is now being taught a great deal. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You are always performing a tremendous job.
yeezy wave runner 700
Reply curry 7 sour patch
2:47 AM on January 22, 2022 
I wanted to construct a simple remark to say thanks to you for all of the stunning instructions you are placing on this website. My particularly long internet look up has at the end been recognized with sensible strategies to talk about with my great friends. I would mention that many of us website visitors are very lucky to live in a magnificent community with many brilliant professionals with valuable concepts. I feel quite happy to have seen the webpages and look forward to many more cool times reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.
curry 7 sour patch
Reply yeezy
2:47 AM on January 22, 2022 
I actually wanted to make a simple comment in order to express gratitude to you for all of the fantastic information you are showing at this site. My time-consuming internet search has now been rewarded with brilliant facts and strategies to talk about with my co-workers. I would declare that many of us site visitors are very much blessed to be in a fine network with many perfect professionals with useful ideas. I feel rather lucky to have come across your entire web site and look forward to really more amazing moments reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.
Reply kd shoes
2:47 AM on January 22, 2022 
Needed to post you the little bit of word to finally give many thanks as before regarding the unique opinions you have featured here. It is quite remarkably open-handed of you to provide openly all that a lot of folks would've supplied for an e-book to end up making some cash for their own end, particularly given that you could possibly have done it if you decided. These creative ideas also acted to become fantastic way to realize that other people online have the same dreams the same as mine to realize many more pertaining to this condition. I'm certain there are some more fun situations in the future for folks who view your blog post.
kd shoes
Reply off white shoes
2:46 AM on January 22, 2022 
I intended to draft you this little bit of word to say thanks a lot yet again for all the fantastic views you have documented in this article. This has been really shockingly open-handed of people like you to give easily all that many people would have supplied for an e-book to get some money on their own, even more so seeing that you could possibly have tried it if you decided. The advice also worked as a great way to comprehend other individuals have similar desire much like my own to figure out more on the topic of this problem. I know there are some more pleasant moments ahead for folks who check out your blog.
off white shoes
Reply birkin bag
11:38 PM on January 21, 2022 
My wife and i have been quite excited when Chris could complete his analysis while using the ideas he was given using your weblog. It's not at all simplistic just to always be offering strategies that most people may have been trying to sell. So we discover we need the website owner to be grateful to for that. The main illustrations you have made, the simple website menu, the friendships you assist to foster - it's everything superb, and it is facilitating our son and us imagine that this concept is interesting, which is exceedingly serious. Thanks for all the pieces!
birkin bag
Reply jordan 13
11:37 PM on January 21, 2022 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally spectacular opportunity to check tips from this site. It is usually very amazing and as well , stuffed with a lot of fun for me and my office friends to search the blog no less than three times weekly to study the newest secrets you will have. And definitely, we are always motivated with your perfect secrets served by you. Selected 2 tips on this page are unquestionably the most beneficial I have ever had.
jordan 13
Reply kyrie 5 shoes
11:36 PM on January 21, 2022 
I must express thanks to you just for rescuing me from this particular problem. Just after researching through the the net and seeing thoughts which are not helpful, I assumed my life was well over. Being alive without the strategies to the issues you have solved by way of your main post is a crucial case, and the kind which may have in a negative way affected my career if I hadn't discovered your blog post. Your expertise and kindness in dealing with all the stuff was helpful. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come upon such a solution like this. I'm able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks very much for this skilled and results-oriented help. I will not think twice to recommend your web site to any individual who should have support on this topic.
kyrie 5 shoes
Reply hermes handbags
11:35 PM on January 21, 2022 
I precisely had to thank you very much once again. I am not sure the things that I might have handled without these solutions documented by you over my problem. Entirely was the challenging difficulty in my circumstances, however , being able to see a new specialised way you dealt with the issue forced me to weep with delight. I am happier for your help and in addition hope you recognize what a powerful job you happen to be doing educating men and women using your webblog. I know that you haven't met any of us.
hermes handbags
Reply supreme clothing
11:34 PM on January 21, 2022 
My spouse and i have been really thrilled when Albert managed to finish off his homework through your precious recommendations he was given when using the web page. It's not at all simplistic just to possibly be freely giving tips and hints that many others may have been trying to sell. Therefore we know we've got the website owner to appreciate because of that. All of the illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the relationships you can make it easier to promote - it's all remarkable, and it's leading our son and us recognize that the concept is amusing, and that's very vital. Many thanks for the whole lot!
supreme clothing
Reply kobe 9
11:34 PM on January 21, 2022 
I wish to show appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this type of crisis. Just after scouting through the the net and getting recommendations which are not pleasant, I was thinking my life was well over. Being alive devoid of the approaches to the problems you've fixed through your article is a crucial case, as well as ones that might have in a negative way affected my career if I hadn't discovered your web page. The mastery and kindness in playing with a lot of stuff was important. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a stuff like this. I'm able to at this point relish my future. Thanks so much for your reliable and sensible help. I won't be reluctant to endorse your web blog to anyone who wants and needs support about this subject.
kobe 9
Reply hermes online
7:13 PM on January 21, 2022 
I must express some thanks to the writer just for bailing me out of this particular problem. Just after looking throughout the internet and obtaining advice that were not pleasant, I figured my entire life was done. Being alive devoid of the strategies to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of your main write-up is a crucial case, as well as the ones that could have adversely affected my career if I hadn't encountered your web site. That competence and kindness in controlling every aspect was important. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn't discovered such a thing like this. I am able to at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the high quality and effective guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend the sites to anyone who would like guidelines on this problem.
hermes online
Reply hermes
7:13 PM on January 21, 2022 
A lot of thanks for all your efforts on this web page. Kate takes pleasure in working on investigation and it's really easy to see why. My partner and i learn all of the lively medium you produce priceless guidelines by means of this website and as well inspire contribution from some other people on this subject matter plus our favorite child is actually becoming educated a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You have been performing a really great job.
Reply jordan retro
7:12 PM on January 21, 2022 
I am just writing to let you understand of the nice experience my friend's daughter encountered checking the blog. She mastered lots of things, not to mention what it's like to possess a wonderful coaching spirit to make other individuals easily know certain complex topics. You actually exceeded my desires. Thanks for displaying such precious, safe, revealing and also easy thoughts on this topic to Janet.
jordan retro
Reply lebron james shoes
7:12 PM on January 21, 2022 
I have to voice my passion for your kind-heartedness supporting persons who should have guidance on this important field. Your real dedication to passing the message all through turned out to be wonderfully productive and has always enabled employees like me to get to their desired goals. Your entire valuable help and advice entails a whole lot to me and even more to my colleagues. Many thanks; from all of us.
lebron james shoes
Reply lebron shoes
7:12 PM on January 21, 2022 
I simply wanted to appreciate you yet again. I'm not certain what I might have tried without the actual creative concepts documented by you relating to such a concern. Completely was the alarming case in my view, but coming across your skilled form you processed that made me to cry with gladness. I am just happy for your support and even wish you find out what a great job you are always carrying out training most people all through your blog post. More than likely you haven't come across any of us.
lebron shoes
Reply jordan shoes
7:11 PM on January 21, 2022 
I just wanted to jot down a small word to say thanks to you for these fantastic items you are placing on this website. My particularly long internet look up has finally been compensated with pleasant insight to go over with my great friends. I 'd say that many of us readers are rather endowed to exist in a very good site with many brilliant people with helpful ideas. I feel truly lucky to have discovered the web pages and look forward to plenty of more excellent minutes reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.
jordan shoes
Reply kyrie 6
7:10 PM on January 21, 2022 
I must show some thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this type of issue. Right after looking through the online world and finding ways which were not powerful, I figured my entire life was gone. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the issues you've solved by way of the article is a critical case, and those that might have negatively damaged my entire career if I hadn't discovered your blog. The skills and kindness in maneuvering every aspect was important. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a solution like this. I'm able to at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for the professional and amazing guide. I won't hesitate to refer your blog post to anybody who will need support on this subject.
kyrie 6
Reply yeezy
7:09 PM on January 21, 2022 
My husband and i have been very cheerful Peter could round up his inquiry through the precious recommendations he grabbed in your web page. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be making a gift of information which often a number of people have been making money from. We acknowledge we have you to be grateful to because of that. The specific illustrations you've made, the simple website menu, the friendships you make it easier to foster - it is mostly superb, and it's leading our son and our family do think that issue is cool, which is exceptionally vital. Thank you for everything!
Reply off white
2:23 PM on January 21, 2022 
A lot of thanks for your entire hard work on this site. Ellie loves carrying out internet research and it is easy to understand why. We all hear all regarding the dynamic medium you present priceless guidance by means of this web site and in addition inspire response from some other people on that concept and our own princess has always been studying a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You're the one carrying out a fantastic job.
off white