Tips for Working at Home

In a remarkably short period of time, many organizations have had to adapt their operations in order to enable employees to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis. For many workers it is a brand new experience. Here are some suggestions on how to make your new home office both efficient and comfortable:

  1. Set up a dedicated workspace that, ideally, has: some privacy to reduce noise and distractions; access to a power source; natural lighting for mental and physical well-being; and room for storage of files, office supplies, electronic devices, etc.
  2. Make sure you have the tools and resources needed to do your job from home: a laptop or computer, essential software, headphones to help reduce distractions, printer, WIFI access, list of contacts, phone, files, etc.
  3. As much as possible, ensure your office set-up is ergonomic: comfortable chair with appropriate lumbar support, appropriately positioned computer monitor, easy access to equipment, files and tools, etc.
  4. Create an organizational system for efficiency and to reduce clutter.
  5. Add some personal touches to the space to help you feel comfortable and positive.

Some additional tips to help in today’s exceptional circumstances:

  • Stay connected with your colleagues. The sudden shift from workplaces to working from home can be challenging. It’s important to be able to connect with your team for both business purposes and for morale. A check-in – whether daily or weekly – is a good way to keep the team on track and motivated; it’s also a good reminder that everyone is in this together.
  • Recognize the new normal. It’s unlikely that your productivity will match what it was in an office environment so be sure to set realistic priorities and timelines, and communicate this with your manager and colleagues.
  • Take frequent breaks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that is happening so step away for a few moments when you need to: have a cup of tea, stretch, send a text or email to a friend or relative, cuddle your pet, go for a walk around the block, or play your favourite song.
  • Unless it’s essential to your job, try to limit the time you spend on social media and the constant stream of news updates. It can affect your mental health and in turn, your ability to work.
  • Keep in mind this situation, in most cases, is temporary.

The following links also contain helpful information on how to adjust to remote working:

Let Artists Teach You How to Work from Home

5 Tips for Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Tips on How to Work from Home for Newbies