This working from home business is hard. I’ve received emails from CEO s and other Senior Executives full of smiley faces and winking emoji just after being sequestered to “work in place”. They were now working from home full time. For most, this was a first. Their notes exclaim “this is hard”. Others lament “I can’t seem to get it all together to get much done”.
“A ha!” you say. Maybe all those highly placed people will acquire empathy for their employees who work from home as a permanent placement. Yes, I hope that happens. McKinsey, the global consulting powerhouse, calls out leadership “empathy” as a crucial tool for leaders now working from home. Mostly I hope everyone acquires new or stronger skills in the “work from home space”.
5 Tips for Being Happier and More Productive while Working from your Virtual Workplace
If you are new to working from home or just struggling with how to be happier and more productive, here are the basics.
- Set your work hours. The most important time to set is your starting time. Set that time and stick to it.
- Adhere to your schedule. Clients, employees and colleagues want to know when to contact you. Consistency matters. Deadlines still matter. Don’t let your “should- dos” become your “must-dos” as the clock strikes 1 minute to deadline. Your personal communication channels up and down your organization are critical to your success.
- Suit up. Bunny slippers are cute and baggy pajama bottoms are comfy. Just know this casually inappropriate garb signal a lack of “psychological readiness” to be all in about your work. Suit up and show up to do your best work.
- Go to work. Create a specific place in your home to “go to work”. Your virtual workplace should be staged and stocked with all the things you need. Phones and technology, printers and software must accommodate the new demands.
- Avoid the spread. I don’t mean the creeping weight gain caused by being indoors with exercise. Avoid the paperwork, laptop and other work detritus creeping into all parts of your house. Put away your stuff at the end of your work hours. Each day. This stuff is like dirt…it sifts into every populated space in your house.
Come Home. Refer to #1. Set your schedule and when it is time to call it a day, come on home. Tuck most of your stuff away and, now, you can put those Bunny slippers back on.