Adapt to Working From Home – Here Are Three Ways How

At Home During a Crisis, Trying to Work…

You’re in your mid to late 20’s. Maybe early 30’s.

Think back 2 months – remember when “going to work” meant waking up at the crack of dawn, well, before 8 a.m. anyhow,  suiting up, prepping a cup of coffee and making sure you’re on the road with enough time to be in the door at least five minutes before the boss?

Now you’re waking up five minutes before you need to start work, kickin’ it in your pajamas and jamming to your favorite music all day long. What more could you ask for, right?

We Didn’t Ask for Any of This

You might think that post-college millennials are loving this ‘new normal.’ But we’re not. For once, our technical literacy is our downfall. Our work, our entertainment, the majority of our sources of leisure, communication – it’s all coming at us from a glowing rectangle sized somewhere between five and 50 inches. Want a break? Forgo communication and welcome isolation as time passes by without you.

While it was once an escape to come home, turn on the TV and tune everything else out, the comfort isn’t as appealing when your ‘escape’ is five feet away from your ‘office,’ which is that corner of your 900 sq. ft. apartment you used to call ‘the dining room table.’

And sleeping in? We’re over it. We miss the sunlight. The ‘before lock down’ routines we worked to perfection have been thrown to the wayside. We want a reason to follow a schedule.

“You are not working from home; you are at home during a crisis trying to work. Important distinction.” – Neil Webb.

So now what? How do you adapt to working from home? The answer to this question is different for everyone, but it all comes from the same core idea: it’s on you. For the next three-plus months, taking care of yourself is your sole responsibility.

The slide is real. So is the lack of stimuli.

There will be next-to-no ‘social cues’ on when – or if – to take lunch. Your coworkers aren’t there to question your fast-food consumption, nor to cheer you on when they smell that fantastic meal you whipped up. And what about that instant collaboration with colleagues when you present a creative idea? Or having that favorite client pop in for a quick meeting? Also, it’s much easier to ‘work late’ far into the night, depriving yourself of crucial time to decompress.

You get the idea. This is our new normal – for the next month, at least – and it’s not going to adapt to us.  So here are three ways you can adapt to working from home:

  • Set a schedule and stick to it.
    • It might not make sense to wake up two hours before work like your commute warranted, but it still makes sense to give yourself forty-five minutes to eat breakfast, comb your hair and wake up to the world.
  • Separation is key.
    • For the sake of your own mental health, don’t be that employee who triple-snoozes the alarm then rolls over into their laptop at 9 a.m. Get up. Start your day. Then start working… The divide between your ‘work’ and ‘home’ life is paper thin – don’t erode what little separation you have.
  • Don’t sweat it. Communicate.
    • This is new for everybody – your boss included. Feeling isolated or left out of key conversations? Speak up. It’s probably all in your head. And either way, your team is there for you. Communication is the first step to problem solving.

Did we miss something? What works for you? Share a photo of your home office or your favorite ‘Work-from-home tip’ in the comments below.

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