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How to Work From Home, if You've Never Done It Before

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/smarter-living/how-to-work-from-home-if-youve-never-done-it-before.html

nytimes.com

How to Work From Home, if You've Never Done It Before
If you find yourself working closer to your bedroom because of coronavirus, here are some tips that can help. More and more companies are having employees work from home to help slow the spread of coronavirus. If you find yourself among those trying to figure out how to work from home, I can help.

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Keep the Same Schedule

To give your day structure, keep the same routine as when you went into an office. Get up at the same time and make a to-do list. Check in with the same person every morning.

Your schedule will change over time as you adjust to your new working arrangement.

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Set Boundaries

Pick a place for your office away from distraction.
Boundaries also apply to other people who may be sharing the same space. Children can work alongside you as if they were coming to the office.

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Schedule Breaks

You won't have the same cues as you do from your workplace to remind you to get up or get lunch. When you lose the pace of your day, everything can start to blend together.

Treat your exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting. Put it on your calendar, at least to start.

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Prepare for Isolation

Proactively stay in touch with others rather than waiting for someone to reach out. It could be emailing colleagues more often, using chat tools or just picking up the phone.

Getting a pet is another way to break isolation, or playing a familiar movie for a background hum to break the silence.

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Put Work Away

The evening commute is often a way to end the workday and beginning home life.
It is important to continue to end your workday when you work from home, even if you only move to a different spot in your home or shut down your work applications.

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Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job

  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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Aches and pains

Aches and pains

With the 2020 pandemic, many people are required to stay home.

If you're one of these people, you may be noticing new aches and pains you did not experience at the office.

Ergonomic furniture

Many companies follow an ANSI-HFS standard in the design of their computer workstations, which incorporates ergonomic furniture and accessories.

Most homes don't have the space to accommodate ergonomic office furniture, nor do most people invest in it. If you're working from home using your computer on a regular table or you sit in a lounge chair or on your bed, chances are you aren't in a healthy posture. It could potentially lead to musculoskeletal injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or even deep vein thrombosis.

Your computer screen

View your computer screen with a straight neck. Put your screen in front of you at a comfortable viewing height. Don't look down at your screen or angle your screen, so you must twist your neck.

You may have to put the screen on a pile of books or on a cardboard box to raise it to a comfortable viewing position.

Environmental Associations

Environmental Associations

Environmental associations are cues from your working environment that tell your brain "I'm in the office, so it must be time to work." Most of them are assimilated subconsci...

Physical Triggers

Physical triggers are the literal actions you take that tell your brain "the work day is about to start." For example:

  • Spritzing a small amount of cologne on your wrist.
  • The sensation of picking up your keys and putting them in your pocket or purse.
  • The sound your car engine makes as you begin your morning commute.

It's hard to stay productive when you work from home because many of these physical triggers don't exist.

Fake a Commute to “Work”

Your commute is a very important physical trigger to your brain that your work day has begun. So, after you complete your morning routine, whatever it is, find a way to physically commute to your home… from your home.

Literally leave your house. Walk up and down the street or drive around the block to complete your "commute." When you're done working do the same commute but in reverse.