Working from home can be a difficult transition for some employees and businesses. Many have never had the opportunity to work from home, whether its because their employer didn’t have a policy on it or they didn’t feel productive and focused at home.
Now, with the COVID-19 crisis, work from home is the default. I’ve been working from home for almost 3 weeks, the longest I’ve ever worked from home consecutively. I’ll likely be working from home for the foreseeable future unless things start to get uncontrol.
Before the massive change, I’ve had the chance to work from home on occasion, taking days as needed. Working with Digiboost, we have a generous work-from-home policy. As such, all our systems allowed us to work remotely, even though we went into an office every day. We’ve been able to adapt quickly and with few to no hiccups.
The biggest shift from working in an office to working from home has building my “office space,” aka my bedroom into a usable area. I had an Autonomous standing desk that was used more of a shelf than a desk. I also took my Samsung 4k Monitor and borrowed a standard chair from the office.
My desk took a few days to adjust to, but now I have it set up the way I like, whether I am standing or sitting. The other big modification is how I spent my time. Instead of commuting to and from the office, I can use that extra time for things I want to do.
Now my schedule looks something like this:
- 830am – wake and start checking email and project management system from bed
- 930am – have a standing meeting with the team to talk the previous day and plan
- 10am – I go and eat breakfast and start working till lunch
- 12pm – I take a lunch break, try to do some chores, or take the dogs for a mid-afternoon walk
- 2pm – work in the afternoon and have most meetings scheduled
My schedule is more flexible, and I feel like I am more productive when I am working from home. I can put my noise-canceling headphones on to focus on the work at hand. Often times at work, I wasn’t able to sit down to concentrate because of some needing help or wanting to schedule a meeting to discuss a project. Now, much of this happens in Slack, on Trello, or via long-form briefs.
Tips and learnings since working from home
While I am enjoying this work from home and know when the times come to go back into an office, the transition will be even hard to go back. I’ve had a few hiccups on getting acquainted with my new schedule.
I’ve learned over the past three weeks:
- You have to take time for self-care. It is easy to skip a shower or forget to change your clothes when you are home all day.
- Spending money for the home office is essential. Having an ergonomic chair and a screen that’s at the right height will make your space more enjoyable (this is if you can find anything in stock).
- You don’t always have to have a video on. I often have video on for conference calls, but there are times its okay to keep audio-only.
- Staying active is critical. At work, I would go walk to the store or stroll around the downtown area. Now I try to take a walk with the dogs, cut the grass after work, or do something outside.
- Project Management systems become more critical. Communicating asynchronously is important as peers work at times or with different flows. This dramatically cuts down on miscommunication too.
I am still learning a lot about working from home – if you will, working remotely. I believe after this crisis, we will again go back into offices. However, more companies will consider flexible work-from-home policies.