The “interim normal” is now sheltering in place at least through the month of April, social distancing, working from home, school closures – in many cases through September – and overall economic uncertainty. We’ve compiled a list of best practices to navigate the new world of work-from-home, whether it’s just you, or you and your entire family.
Four tips to keep you organized, motivated, on point
1. Take care of yourself and those you are at home with. Maintain physical and mental health. Set aside time daily for body movement, whether it’s a bike ride, walk or jog if allowed in your area (and using social distancing), to doing pushups and planks, running in place and jumping jacks, to video sports (the new “Wii-Work”) and workouts with your favorite trainers on YouTube. Hate working out alone? Schedule a “workout” date with a friend or even a group of friends via FaceTime and do it together. Solitude can for many be a little unnerving; if you are at home alone with no family, roommates, etc., and maintaining social distance, FaceTime or video chats using Google Hangouts and other services let you have lunch, dinner, breakfast together. There are numerous meditation, prayer and faith, yoga, and other groups holding livestreams; join in a group that interests you and makes you feel connected. Practice self care and don’t apologize for taking time for yourself.
2. While large numbers of people routinely work from home and have a reliable, comfortable setup, if you’re not one of them, here’s your chance to straighten things up and create an environment that works for you, because you will likely be immersed in it several hours a day. Organization, good lighting, comfortable seating, files where you need them, tech and mobile devices charged and ready to go whether you’re in Zoom meetings, Google hangouts or conferencing people in on mobile calls … all of these contribute to being efficient and ready to roll. But efficiency is not the only requirement for approaching your workday. Find that favorite coffee or tea cup, your go-to water container, photos, flowers, plants … the items that bring you joy and remind you of who you are at your core. If you’re new to the home office remote work routine, be sure to check out what’s in your background for video calls that you’ll be sharing with your connections to help maintain professionalism and appropriate home/work boundaries.
3. Maintain a disciplined work schedule, just as if you were headed into your workplace. That means out of bed, cleaned up and not working in your jammies for days on end. Consistency and establishing a rhythm is a great foundation for the work day; practice it daily. The day may not always work out the way you planned, but there is at least a plan in place. Having a disciplined approach gives you the confidence to be able to pivot quickly as circumstances require. And be kind to family, friends, colleagues … we’re all just trying to figure it out together.
4. If you’re at home working and now also have children with you 24/7, it’s likely more of a juggle! Between work, home schooling/lessons based on your local school district’s policy and requirements, and regular household upkeep, it probably feels monumental. Maintaining balance and structure for children is very important. Meals, exercise, entertainment, schoolwork – all need space, time, leadership. Organizing video checkins for children to maintain their important relationships with friends and family members not in the home; searching out age-appropriate exercise/movement; setting meals and snack times; quiet time; and learning time help keep children calmer, focused and able to adapt better new the new “interim” normal.
From all of us at Novita Insurance Solutions, be healthy and stay safe. We really are all in this together.