Many of you have already been working from home with your careers and even the career of being a parent & raising children, many of you have recently had to learn how.
I’ve worked from home for years and wouldn’t have it any other way. I personally don’t like the rush-hour commuters, hefty dry-cleaning bills, cost of parking, and quite frankly interacting with people…yes, I do love being around people but I’m sure some of you know what I’m referring to and no, not everyone you work with you have to enjoy being around.
I do get side-tracked easily, it’s just in my nature, so “water cooler” talks can turn into an all afternoon conversation on whatever. Working from home eliminated a few of the annoyances I had working at an actual office but I found the distractions part wasn’t all about being at an office with a water cooler. At home the distractions are much different, there is always laundry, playing with your pet, watching your fav re-runs, your mom calls, your mom calls again, you call your mom, there is always something. Bottom line, work needs done, I like to call it figuring out your method to your madness.
What I know:
- What you’re wearing makes a difference, enjoy wearing your PJ’s for the 1st time for one week then get up, showered and dressed for work.
- Get organized, whatever that looks like to you, so you know where everything is to be able to complete your work.
- It’s ok not to be uniformed. I use a clip board with paper to keep track of my things-to-do, most people are digital now but it works for me.
- Outdoors is everything. Fresh air, just go get some. Enjoy a park! There are so many, try a new one each week.
- Movement, walking – getting up from the desk for a water cooler break. Call your buddy from work and chat for a few if that’s what you would do at the office.
- Setting a hit list. What is the most important item you have to accomplish and then list them in order so that is at the forefront of your mind.
- Making achievable goals. Key word is achievable. Pace yourself, especially at first being new working from home, you are learning a new system.
- It’s ok if one day is more productive than the others
- It’s ok if something last minute comes up that you can’t work that day, you just stick to your deadlines and figure out when to make up those hours.\
I find that when I take a breather and remind myself that I have a job and found a way to also live as my best self, knowing what it takes for me to be productive at home, then I also realize I never want to lose these moments of appreciation. I work harder to keep it.
I work in various industries, one being the Telehealth space. For those not familiar, basically a HIPAA compliant/secured doctors appointment by a professional wherever you are and as you need. I love where medical & technology collide but I think the main reason I started working in this field is because there was a method to the madness which I appreciated and understood. The process makes sense. It’s hard to take off work, travel however long to get to your doctor, the waiting room time, heading to the drug store for meds, and maybe even not getting paid for the time you had to take off. For some, this is a blessing and elevates all of the above. Work smarter not harder, sometimes isn’t taken in the right context, but for me it’s finding an optimal way to make the most of your time for the best achievable outcome. That’s my secret to working from home successfully. Find your method, your system that works for you or else there will be madness (hehe).
On a more serious note, during our COVID quarantine, the Telehealth options have really come to the surface as the right & only solution for certain medical care. It’s been overwhelming for some to learn to work from home, missing interaction with their office friends, kids occupying your time more than usual…that can be very stressful & lead to depression. According to many resources but in the Washington Post, we are on the verge of a health crisis with nearly half of Americans reporting the coronavirus crisis harming their mental health. An increase of suicides, overdose deaths, substance use disorders, PTSD and depression in general are on the rise. Thankfully, for Telebehavorial (same thing as Telehealth but with a therapist) we’ve been able to add this as an offering to those that are going through a rough time mentally. Creating a work zone in which you feel like you can be successful + take time for you, will help to stabilize the roller-coaster we’re going through thus you will be less likely to experience mental health symptoms.
Will working from home be the new norm? Hard to say but my hope is that you find whatever helps you feel like you can do your best work + take better care of yourself and then continue to make that your new habit. I’ve always felt, the how/when/where aren’t as important as long as the job is done right by the deadline established. For me, working from home and having my system allows me to do my best work. My hope is that employers will allow employees, as it is appropriate for their job, to be able to decide how/when/where is best for them to be the most successful with their job.
Hang in there! Know many people are feeling the stress even if they aren’t talking about it. Do something for yourself each day and make that a promise, at least with that you have something to look forward to everyday.