5 Tips for Working from Home

1) Think of your workspace like an office

  • Get ready for the workday as if you were leaving to work outside the home. No need to get dressed up (unless you want to).
  • Going through a morning routine will help make it feel more like a workday and less like a weekend.

Have a designated workspace to help avoid mixing work-life and home life.
This helps me focus solely on work when I am in it
– Noah, Project Manager

2) Set up an environment that works for you

  • Have a designated “office space” to work in to avoid mixing work-life and home-life. There is nothing wrong with moving around to a new location but having a designated workspace will help you stay more organized and, again, make it feel more like a workday.
  • Make sure everyone in the house knows when you are about to get on a call.
  • If you have children at home, talk with them about respecting your work and when it’s okay to interrupt you.
  • Having music in the background breaks up the silence, especially if you’ll be alone for long periods of time

      One of my personal tips for working from home is having classical music or jazz playing in the background during work (when I’m not on a call!) It helps me focus, especially if my neighbors are being a bit loud, and makes me feel like I’m working from a coffee shop.  Kylie, Customer Service Associate

3) Stay organized

  • Make a list and check off items as they are completed.
  • Turn off notifications when you need to focus.
  • Use a timer to create a sense of urgency to keep on task – or to remind yourself to take a break!

You can easily find onscreen clocks/timers/stopwatches online, iPadStopwatch works well. I don’t use the one on my phone because the screen blanks and I forget about the timer (plus I need my phone for calls and messages). You can even use a kitchen timer. – Megan, BD Representative

4) Take Breaks

  • Stand up and take a brief break (5 minutes) every hour or so. Stretch/walk around/drink water, etc.
  • Remember to eat lunch!
  • Take a mid-day exercise break. Get outside for a short walk if you can.
  • Call, message, or video chat with a co-worker – this helps avoid isolation and makes you feel more connected.

When working from home exclusively, we need an occasional break to connect with our coworkers beyond just deliverables and timelines. Tools such as Instant Messenger or a simple five-minute phone call help keep people feeling team-spirit and connected. For people new to working from home, this helps employees feel more like a “normal office” workday. – Cynthia, Associate Director

5) Set Boundaries 

  • Remote workers take shorter breaks and fewer sick days, suggesting that boundaries can be an issue. This is even more challenging if you don’t have a dedicated home office space.
  • Find a place to put everything at night so you can “close the door” on it and not be distracted by the things you didn’t get done.
  • If you don’t have a spare room or closet space, try using a basket to tuck your laptop and papers into at night. Creating a physical boundary will help you reset your mind and reclaim your home as your home.

The most important thing for me is to keep to a routine. Start at the same time each day, open
needed applications, check the calendar, review emails, etc. Jennifer, Project Manager

 

Here are a couple of resources the VL team has found useful:

Click here if you’d like to download a PDF’d copy of our 5 Tips for Working from Home.

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