As the coronavirus continues to be a presence in our lives, many people continue to work remotely, having shifted computers, monitors, stand-up desks and other gear to the “home office.” Some actually have a designated home office space, others work off laptops at the kitchen table. These are the lucky ones, adaptable and online, with supportive employers who recognize the risks presented by the old norms.
Yet for remote workers operating out of home offices, new challenges have presented themselves.
How to maintain a normal work schedule when you don’t need to be at the office by eight and can sleep in a little? Yet if you sleep in, work gets started and runs later, dinner gets pushed back, and maybe you aren’t tired at night so you stay up late reading or watching television. Then you need to sleep in and the cycle begins again. Distractions and challenges are everywhere, from the abundance of news focused on the latest updates about the virus, to struggling to stay focused when the house needs cleaning, the kids are loud and restless, and you’re not sure what’s for dinner. Working from home makes it much harder to compartmentalize.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to knowing how to work from home productively. For parents and especially single parents, the challenge is finding a way to keep kids’ needs met while also being accountable to the work that provides for them. Fortunately, summer’s nice weather gets the kids out the door! Yet the advantage to working from home is the flexibility it allows. There’s no doubt that discipline and time management are key, but it can feel good and productive to be able to throw in laundry, work for a few hours, break for a good lunch, and even fit in a short walk or bike ride on a nice day. When the kids need TLC, take the time to stop work and engage with them, remembering the importance of their sense of love and security. There’s always time after the kids are in bed or during the weekend to finish up that hour or two of delayed work.
Essentially, with self-discipline, organization, and recognizing priorities, working from home is not only doable but productive. Some see working at home as getting a raise of sorts, and others claim to love it. Establishing some type of routine is a helpful practice to keep one focused. Maybe that entails starting the day by watering outdoor plants, doing a little yoga, or just taking 5 minutes to read news headlines,
So when you wake up knowing “work” is still taking place from home with no end to the situation in sight, first, count your blessings you actually can work from home. Then start the coffee, grab a little breakfast, and get to work!