Top 5 Tips for Working From Home
So, you’re working from home. Maybe you’ve been part of a remote team for a while, or maybe this is your first foray into the world of telecommuting. Either way, Board & Vellum’s got your back with our Top 5 tips for working from home.
April 2, 2020
At Board & Vellum, we’re lucky enough to have the flexibility to work from home when we need to. But that means we’re also well-acquainted with the pitfalls of trying to stay productive in a space you may not be used to working in. Whether you have a designated home office or are taking a conference call from your kitchen for the first time, here are some of the ways we make working from home, well, work!
Give Yourself a Commute
Sticking to a routine is essential, whether you’re working from the office or from home. But when work and home are the same place, it can be hard to set boundaries around when play ends and work begins. Who among us hasn’t opened our laptop to check emails without even getting out of bed? Commutes, even short ones, can break up your day and help you transition from home-mode to work-mode. A brisk jaunt around the block, or a leisurely perusal of your book-of-the-moment from the comfort of your garden can give you a sense of transition, so, when you head back indoors, your brain and body know it’s time to get down to business.
Connect with Your Coworkers
One of the first things you’ll notice about working from home is the distinct lack of water cooler talk. Work culture can’t be forced, but if you’re close with your coworkers, don’t be afraid to set up video conferences rather than phone calls so you can see one another. Or schedule an extra 15 minutes on the end of your meeting so you and your colleagues can catch up. If you live with a spouse, your children, or roommates, don’t forget to take time to check in with them, too.
Take a Lunch
Remember when we mentioned sticking to a routine? Well, it might go without saying, but take a lunch. Working straight through the day might seem like an efficient use of time, but sometimes you need to step away from your email or that big project. Taking a normal lunch break can refresh you for another session of focused productivity. And consider this: working from home means you have access to your entire kitchen and pantry. You’re no longer relegated to the world of take-out or reheated leftovers! So, don’t be shy about whipping something up midday to treat yourself and give your brain a well-deserved break.
What, and postpone attending to the ten urgent matters that have just fallen in your lap? In short, yes! Working remotely can make it especially hard to disconnect. We know, we know – we just told you to stay connected. But we’ve all felt undue pressure to stay available to our teams for any little thing that might come up throughout the day, especially when it’s so easy to stay connected through email and chat. Consider throwing up an away message and take advantage of the flexibility you get working from the comfort of your home. Edit that document from your dining room table or chart out a new workflow from your coziest living room chair. Focused work time away from your computer is a great way to get back to pen and paper, or tablet and stylus if that’s your jam. Just remember, give your team a heads up so they know how to get ahold of you when the next shoe drops.
Put Your Work Away
Do you struggle to shut work off at the end of the day? Us too. Allowing your workday to carry over into your evening isn’t going to make you happier or more productive (unless you get that early evening second wind, in which case, work on!). But if you’re like many of us, who are ready to close shop but can’t seem to stop glancing at Slack, put your ever-loving work away! Take a mis en place approach to your work “stuff” — before stepping away from your desk, take a moment to put everything back into place - it makes it harder to sneak back for a few minutes of review. Even simple gestures like shutting your laptop and muting notifications can help you turn off work-brain and get back to relaxing. You deserve it!