There is an allure to working from home if you are an on-site employee. Just once a week, it would be nice to skip the commute, work from bed, and play music while you type away. If you regularly work from home, then you likely have a schedule, a set-up, and have chosen this type of work lifestyle. You’re prepared and your daily life likely hasn’t changed too much.
But for many, navigating the work-from-home model during the COVID-19 outbreak means a drastic adjustment to everyday life. There are plenty of great tips and tricks to making your space work-friendly and keeping yourself focused. But what happens when you hate working from home? What happens when you thrive on your office environment for conversation, motivation, and energy?
Particularly in this critical moment, work-from-home doesn’t mean work-from-anywhere — libraries, cafes, and public spaces are closed in many states and people are being strongly encouraged to isolate themselves.
As inherently social creatures (even introverts!), forced isolation can be tough. Spending a weekend binging your favorite show and never leaving your home is a choice. But somehow, when it’s forced, it’s no longer enjoyable.
So how do you get through the dread of working from home while everyone else is celebrating in their pajamas?
Take a Break
Sometimes lack of motivation is tough for newly minted work-from-home employees. But sometimes the opposite is true. Overworking yourself to make the day go by faster — without taking your normal breaks can burn you out. It’s far easier to leave a physical office at the end of the day and mentally shut down.
Being motivated and productive is great, but if you are going to be in a forced work-from-home environment for the foreseeable future, then scheduling breaks and a firm end-of-workday time, are critical.
Take a walk, bake, call your friends, check in on your parents, or catch up on your favorite drama. Take a few moments to stop working and bring some normalcy back into your life.
It’s so easy to ask a question and collaborate when you’re in a shared office space. “Have a minute? Can I run something by you?” – it seems trivial until you have to try to schedule a time to meet or need an answer ASAP.
If you have a team, or a close group of co-workers with whom you have regular contact, schedule a few five or ten-minute sessions every day to video conference with them. These are the people who make your in-office experience great. It’s easy to chat via instant messaging, but socialization and communication needs aren’t always met this way. Maybe it’s a laugh or a quick catch up to get you re-energized before the next big project.
Change it Up
Chances are, if your company has allowed (or mandated) work-from-home, then you have some flexibility in your schedule. If you are in a position where you only need to be physically present during core hours or mandatory meetings, talk to your manager about working when you are most productive. Try to align your schedule with your natural cycle of productivity. Take advantage of your night-owl or early-bird tendencies. You may find larger chunks of time during the day that you can focus on yourself, your family, or your home.
At the end of the day, for many, this mandated work-from-home model is short-term. For the weeks ahead, we can adjust, adapt and know that we are doing this for the greater good and to stop the spread of Coronavirus. But it’s important to acknowledge that working from home is not for everyone. It isn’t always as simple as eating breakfast in bed, in your pajamas, and going about your day as if nothing has changed.
Talener is committed to the safety and health of its employees, clients and candidates. All Talener offices are currently working from a work-from-home model. It is important that we are able to have a happy and healthy team who can continue to help candidates find jobs and help clients fulfill business needs during this unprecedented time. We thank you for all of your patience and for adapting your practices as we all navigate these changes.