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.

3523 Comments

Reply yeezy boost 350
2:47 AM on November 28, 2021 
I wanted to create you that very little observation to be able to thank you very much as before over the beautiful information you have discussed on this page. It is extremely generous of you to make easily precisely what most of us might have made available as an ebook to generate some money for themselves, and in particular given that you could have done it in the event you decided. Those tactics additionally served as the fantastic way to know that some people have a similar desire like my personal own to figure out whole lot more concerning this condition. I'm sure there are many more fun times in the future for people who read your blog post.
yeezy boost 350 http://www.yeezy350boost.us.com
Reply curry 7 shoes
2:47 AM on November 28, 2021 
My wife and i got very thrilled Peter could conclude his research through your precious recommendations he got out of the web pages. It's not at all simplistic to simply always be offering hints other people might have been selling. We keep in mind we have got the blog owner to be grateful to for this. All of the explanations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the relationships you help instill - it is many excellent, and it's leading our son and us recognize that the subject matter is satisfying, and that is pretty pressing. Many thanks for the whole lot!
curry 7 shoes http://www.curry7.us
Reply giannis shoes
2:45 AM on November 28, 2021 
I really wanted to make a note so as to appreciate you for those superb hints you are giving at this site. My considerable internet lookup has finally been rewarded with excellent content to exchange with my colleagues. I would mention that we website visitors are very much fortunate to be in a superb website with very many brilliant people with very beneficial tricks. I feel pretty happy to have used your website and look forward to tons of more awesome moments reading here. Thanks once more for everything.
giannis shoes http://www.giannisantetokounmposhoes.us
Reply hermes handbags
2:43 AM on November 28, 2021 
I'm writing to let you know of the outstanding encounter our child experienced viewing your webblog. She came to find a wide variety of issues, which include how it is like to have an ideal giving style to make the rest without problems gain knowledge of specific complex subject areas. You undoubtedly did more than visitors' desires. Many thanks for churning out the great, trustworthy, explanatory and even cool guidance on the topic to Lizeth.
hermes handbags http://www.hermes-handbags.us.com
Reply jordan shoes
2:32 AM on November 28, 2021 
I intended to send you this very small observation to help thank you so much yet again with your pleasing tactics you have shown on this site. It was so seriously generous with people like you to grant unreservedly precisely what a lot of folks would have offered for sale for an e book to help make some dough for their own end, chiefly given that you could have tried it if you wanted. The things as well worked like the fantastic way to understand that other people online have similar zeal just as mine to grasp very much more with respect to this problem. I am certain there are many more enjoyable moments up front for individuals who look over your blog.
jordan shoes http://www.jordanstoreonline.com
Reply off white hoodie
1:13 AM on November 28, 2021 
I as well as my pals were found to be looking through the good tips and hints found on your web site and so all of a sudden came up with a horrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the site owner for them. All the men are already consequently excited to study all of them and now have pretty much been having fun with those things. We appreciate you genuinely really kind and also for making a choice on some superb issues millions of individuals are really desirous to be informed on. My personal honest regret for not saying thanks to earlier.
off white hoodie http://www.offwhitehoodies.us
Reply curry shoes
12:23 AM on November 28, 2021 
I am writing to make you know what a amazing encounter my wife's girl obtained reading through your site. She even learned a lot of pieces, most notably what it's like to have an amazing giving heart to make many more without problems fully understand specified complex subject areas. You actually exceeded our own expected results. Thanks for delivering the necessary, trusted, explanatory not to mention unique tips about that topic to Emily.
curry shoes http://www.curry8shoes.us
Reply kyrie shoes
12:11 AM on November 28, 2021 
I would like to point out my affection for your generosity giving support to visitors who must have assistance with that field. Your special commitment to getting the message all over had become really informative and has frequently encouraged workers like me to arrive at their aims. This informative tutorial denotes much to me and far more to my mates. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.
kyrie shoes http://www.kyrie-7.com
Reply russell westbrook shoes
9:19 PM on November 27, 2021 
I in addition to my buddies have already been viewing the excellent information found on your web blog while instantly got an awful suspicion I had not expressed respect to the web site owner for them. The women were definitely for this reason glad to see them and already have undoubtedly been making the most of them. We appreciate you turning out to be quite kind and for opting for this form of superior subject areas millions of individuals are really needing to know about. My personal honest regret for not saying thanks to you earlier.
russell westbrook shoes http://www.russellwestbrookshoes.us
Reply yeezy boost 350
9:17 PM on November 27, 2021 
I together with my guys were actually studying the great secrets on your web blog and then the sudden came up with a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for those strategies. Those men were definitely so warmed to read through all of them and now have in truth been using these things. Many thanks for indeed being so kind and also for using such useful subject areas most people are really eager to understand about. Our own sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.
yeezy boost 350 http://www.yeezy350boost.us.com
Reply jordan shoes
8:20 PM on November 27, 2021 
I truly wanted to type a comment to express gratitude to you for the lovely points you are sharing on this website. My long internet research has at the end of the day been recognized with pleasant details to share with my colleagues. I would repeat that many of us website visitors are definitely endowed to dwell in a notable website with very many marvellous people with beneficial strategies. I feel rather fortunate to have seen your web pages and look forward to tons of more excellent moments reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.
jordan shoes http://www.jordanssneakers.us.com
Reply bape hoodie
4:30 PM on November 27, 2021 
Needed to write you a very small note to be able to thank you once again for these extraordinary techniques you've documented on this website. This has been simply particularly open-handed of you to convey unreservedly what exactly some people would have offered as an e book to help with making some bucks for their own end, primarily considering that you might have tried it if you ever desired. Those creative ideas likewise served to become good way to know that most people have the same desire really like mine to learn a good deal more in regard to this condition. Certainly there are some more fun sessions up front for individuals who discover your site.
bape hoodie http://www.bapesonline.com
Reply bape clothing
4:02 PM on November 27, 2021 
I want to show appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of situation. As a result of exploring through the internet and coming across ways which were not beneficial, I was thinking my life was done. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the issues you've sorted out by means of the guide is a critical case, as well as ones which may have badly damaged my entire career if I hadn't discovered your web site. Your good expertise and kindness in touching almost everything was tremendous. I don't know what I would've done if I hadn't encountered such a point like this. It's possible to at this time relish my future. Thanks so much for your expert and results-oriented help. I will not think twice to endorse your web blog to anyone who should have assistance about this issue.
bape clothing http://www.bape-clothing.us
Reply curry 7
3:43 PM on November 27, 2021 
I have to get across my love for your generosity supporting people that have the need for help with this study. Your personal dedication to getting the solution all-around came to be incredibly functional and have consistently empowered those like me to arrive at their dreams. Your personal warm and helpful useful information means this much to me and somewhat more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.
curry 7 http://www.curry7shoes.us
Reply jordan shoes
3:09 PM on November 27, 2021 
I would like to express some thanks to you just for bailing me out of this scenario. Right after browsing through the the net and obtaining techniques which were not powerful, I thought my life was gone. Living devoid of the solutions to the problems you have resolved by way of your article is a critical case, as well as the ones which may have negatively affected my career if I had not noticed your website. The talents and kindness in controlling the whole lot was useful. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a subject like this. I'm able to now relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for the specialized and result oriented help. I will not think twice to endorse your blog to anyone who should get assistance about this subject.
jordan shoes http://www.jordanshoes.us
Reply air jordan shoes
2:41 PM on November 27, 2021 
My wife and i have been ecstatic Peter could do his investigations by way of the ideas he gained in your web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself giving freely information men and women might have been selling. Therefore we keep in mind we've got the writer to thank for this. The type of explanations you've made, the easy blog navigation, the friendships you can make it possible to instill - it is many wonderful, and it's making our son and our family do think the theme is exciting, and that is exceedingly serious. Thanks for the whole lot!
air jordan shoes http://www.jordansshoes.us.org
Reply kd 10
1:21 PM on November 27, 2021 
I must show my affection for your kindness for people that actually need help on in this study. Your special commitment to passing the solution all-around turned out to be wonderfully advantageous and have continually permitted some individuals just like me to realize their endeavors. Your own warm and helpful suggestions denotes so much to me and additionally to my fellow workers. Thank you; from all of us.
kd 10 http://www.kd10.us
Reply golden goose outlet
1:21 PM on November 27, 2021 
I definitely wanted to send a quick remark in order to express gratitude to you for these pleasant solutions you are giving on this site. My time-consuming internet search has finally been honored with incredibly good information to exchange with my friends. I 'd assert that we visitors are unequivocally lucky to be in a notable site with very many perfect professionals with valuable methods. I feel pretty happy to have come across your entire website page and look forward to many more cool minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.
golden goose outlet http://www.goldengooseshoes.us.org
Reply giannis antetokounmpo shoes
1:20 PM on November 27, 2021 
I truly wanted to write a small note to appreciate you for some of the fantastic ways you are posting at this site. My prolonged internet look up has finally been recognized with professional tips to talk about with my relatives. I would tell you that we site visitors actually are quite endowed to dwell in a decent website with so many lovely people with useful tactics. I feel pretty lucky to have used your entire web page and look forward to so many more thrilling times reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.
giannis antetokounmpo shoes http://www.giannisantetokounmposhoes.us
Reply kobe shoes
1:18 PM on November 27, 2021 
I want to express my thanks to you for bailing me out of this particular dilemma. As a result of looking through the the net and coming across ways that were not helpful, I thought my entire life was gone. Existing devoid of the solutions to the difficulties you have sorted out by means of the short post is a crucial case, as well as ones which may have negatively damaged my entire career if I hadn't discovered your blog. Your good ability and kindness in touching all the details was excellent. I don't know what I would've done if I had not come upon such a step like this. I can at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for this high quality and sensible guide. I won't think twice to endorse your web sites to anyone who will need recommendations about this matter.
kobe shoes http://www.kobe-shoes.us.com