Shifting To Work From Home: 3 Things To Consider
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, millions of individuals have temporarily shifted to working from home. Working with a national retained search firm that went remote several years ago, it is business as usual for us; however, many individuals are navigating this modality as I type. Below is food for thought as to what to consider when shifting where and how you work.
Make a Space:
Having a dedicated work space is important for working from home. Working from home for almost six years has shifted my work/life balance to more of a work-life integration approach. It is often I flex my hours due to the type of work I do for a living, so it can be easy to work from my living room during the evening sometimes while dinner may be in the oven in the next room. It is vital to have a dedicated work space for the bulk of your day so you can mentally have continuity in where you get business tasks completed. It is also convenient for adequate technology such as large monitors, files, wipe boards, etc.
When working in a brick and mortar setting, it is easy to stay too long in the break-room or get distracted by the casual invite for java down the road with a co-worker. These distractions still exist at home; they just come in different forms. Laundry and chores will always be a distraction, as well as your friends and family thinking since you work from home you are always available which is not the case. Yes, the flexibility is amazing, but make sure to be thoughtful of how you spend your time. Personally, I reside in Chicago and the commute downtown would be around roughly fifty minutes, so having an extra hour and forty minutes daily to work with is great.
Thinking back to college, any productive studying or work had to be done in silence. After joining the workforce, especially as the open office space concept became trendy again, I became used to at least some noise during my work day. Make sure to have light music on or a television on in the background, so you can feel like you aren’t completely alone. Another suggestion is to shower and get ready as you would actually be going into the office each day to keep on a schedule and also build confidence. Lastly, a good thing to incorporate into your work from home space to feel as it’s business as usual is to schedule the same breaks you would take in the office and stick to this schedule. As mentioned, being flexible depending on your scope of work maybe an option; however, sticking as close to a standard work day while at home can be helpful.
Regardless of how temporary this shift will be, it is important to remember to be grateful to have a job that allows you to work from home. Don’t be an island in your new work-modality, call your colleagues in lieu of emails when applicable and be thoughtful about your approach in order to be as productive as possible. Lastly, whether you take any of the above suggestions, make sure to do what works for you. Good luck!
Alex Drury is a Principal and Vice President of Business Development at Morgan Consulting Resources, a healthcare executive search firm celebrating over 25 successful years in business.