Dear readers: We hope you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and home. It’s no surprise that the coronavirus has altered much of what we’ve known to be “normal life”. If you’re now able to work from home when you were working elsewhere before, you’re now facing a whole new challenge.
How do you get your work done at home with distractions, family, and no transition time? We’re here to help you get settled and make the most of this unprecedented situation.
Creating Your Own Space To Work From Home
It’s important to have a dedicated workspace that’s ergonomic. It should be set up and ready for you to get work done. If possible, find yourself a single area that gives you:
- A door to close
- A desk or tabletop that can be used consistently for working on
- A chair with back support. You should be able to sit comfortably for long hours at a time (feet should touch the floor)
- A desk setup that allows you to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and your chin up. You don’t want to be hunched over or straining while typing
- Enough light and/or a window to look out of
You may not be able to have all of these elements in one space. But, you can remove as many distractions and unneeded items as possible. You can make your home work area more specific to its purpose. You’ll be able to focus more during work hours. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to leave your workstation behind.
If you live in a small space or have a small child to watch while you work, a separate space may not be feasible. Do your best to work with the space you have and get creative with multi-purpose areas or open floor layouts.
Maintaining Your Boundaries While You Work From Home
The challenges of working with children or spouses in the house can make this new situation frustrating. It is possible to set reasonable boundaries and work together for successful isolation.
If you have a spouse or partner, communicate with him or her about your needs. Share your concerns about how much quiet you need or if you need certain hours of undisturbed time.
Agree to take turns with shared responsibilities and activities. Work together to find a balance for everyone involved.
Similarly, with older children, talk with them about your new situation. Explain that you will need them to be more independent while you work.
With younger children, boundaries might look more like taking turns with your spouse so you can both have time to work. For single parents, you may have to adjust your boundaries related to your child’s screen time so that you’re able to focus.
Other boundaries to consider setting include:
- The hours you’ll work (and can be most productive)
- Specific time blocked activities
- Time alone vs. time with family
Accepting the Change
Working from home is very different from working in an office or other location. A shift in perspective can make the situation a bit more comfortable for everyone involved.
Be open to feeling your feelings and listen to your thoughts about your new situation.
It may be hard to find a groove or you may feel more tired than usual. That’s normal under these circumstances. Give yourself the space to observe your own situation. What’s not normal is how quickly and abruptly this transition had to be made for so many people across the world.
Take time to talk with friends and family about what you’re going through and how they’re doing. It may help you process your situation and give you ideas to integrate into your new work-from-home life.
Accepting that you don’t know when things will get back to normal is a hard pill to swallow.
But, the sooner you embrace this new – albeit extremely odd – situation, the sooner you’ll feel at ease. At the very least, you’ll be able to manage your remote workload.
To quote author and influencer J.K. Rowling:
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
Staying Home and Staying Safe
We don’t know how long these measures will remain in place. It’s vital we do the best we can to stay calm. Stay at home and help slow the spread of this global disease.
Follow the guidelines put out by the CDC and your local authorities. Focus on being well and sharing positivity and love with others.
What are some ways you’re learning to handle the change? Share your thoughts in the comments below and stay well!