LOS ANGELES, U.S. – Hosting virtual coffees can help maintain communication during the lockdown. In this time of anxiety around the Coronavirus (COVID-19), more companies are mandating that employees work from home. Social distancing is real and working from home can be tricky. With businesses developing work from home policies, this reality is now being forced upon many, in ways that were not expected or wanted. This level of work isolation is not mentally healthy and it can take some time to get into a work routine.
So first, this might be obvious?—?brush your teeth, eat some breakfast and put on some pants. Do everything you would do before you go to work, just do it before you sit down at your kitchen table. Below are five more tips to stay focused & healthy on the job, norms I’ve learned over the years of being an entrepreneur.
Host virtual coffees
Working from home means you need to be more intentional about having meaningful conversations with others. Hosting virtual coffees with friends and co-workers is a growing trend I’ve seen with folks across the county. As our anxiety increases with the threat of the Coronavirus, it’s important that we continue connecting as humans.
Drink coffee or tea with a colleague, while catching up on the news or venting on just how shitty of a political era we’re in. Scheduling virtual coffees might sound silly, but it allows you to connect in a casual way over a video call. If you normally eat lunch with coworkers, schedule time to eat lunch together over a Zoom or Google hangouts (both free). You’ll be surprised how much this can bring a bit more normalcy into your life.
Soundcheck your house
If you typically have a couple of calls or video conferences during the day, make sure the room you’re taking them in is the appropriate one. This tip is obviously more important if your kids are at home or if you have pets that like to bark or cuddle. In addition to soundchecking your house, also make sure you have a strong internet signal wherever you choose to sit down and call your desk in the coming weeks.
Try not to multitask
I know we’re all taught to multi-task, but this grows increasingly challenging while working from home. It’s much easier to multitask when you’re working at work, the issue when you’re at home is you’re also thinking about everything you need to do around the house. You don’t want to be on a conference call, while looking up a recipe for dinner, while responding to emails. Multitasking between home and work tasks doesn’t give the people or your projects the full attention they deserve. I’d recommend each day making a list of your work and personal priorities for the day, tackling them one at a time.
Still wash your hands
This could be obvious, but in the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to forget. Wash your hands every couple of hours, before making a meal or snack and when you get back from taking your mid-morning walk. Don’t forget to wipe down your keyboard, mouse, phone and other surfaces you touch, daily.
If you’re like me, you normally eat at your desk. Working from home could allow you more space to make your lunch, eat healthier, or try a new recipe. This is a great opportunity to cook something new or get into new eating routines. Creating this break for lunch is vital to allow your mind to rest, recharge and refocus. Making time to eat is a critical hour when working from home and also could allow you time to sneak in one of your shows or take a walk. Taking time out during the day?—?even if you choose to have multiple, short breaks?—?gives your brain a chance to recuperate.
Finally, if you are managing a team or department all working from home, remember that everyone works differently and will have different work environments at home. As a manager, it’s critical to be flexible allowing your team time to adjust and learn their new workflow. You should remember that not every employee actually wants to work from home, a shift that can be stressful for some. As you tackle this new adjustment, transparency and proactive communication are key.
David Andres Kietzman