Working From Home – Survival Tips

by Terri Roeslmeier

If you know me, you’ll know that I am a person that needs people — I have often referred to myself as ‘short attention span,’ as constant human interaction and distraction is needed for me to function.

Although I survived Day 1 of WFH (working from home), I can tell you it wasn’t easy. Starting out on Day 2, I have compiled a list of items that will (hopefully) get me through the next few weeks and may even help others as well!

  1. Keep your routine. I normally wake up between 4:00 – 4:30 am and start the day. Clearly, I don’t work out — but I do consume loads of coffee, review the emails that came in overnight, and watch the news on TV.
  2. Don’t change your work start time. I typically leave the house by 6 am, so now that there is zero commute time, I come into my home office and start my day at 6:30 (and just think of all the extra coffee I can consume during the non-commute!).
  3. STAY CONNECTED! During the workday, stay in contact with co-workers and management. Since this is shaping up to be the ‘new normal,’ in order to be effective in your job you will need to collaborate with others… whether it be a phone call, email, or a chat session with team members.
  4. Focus. Being at home has its distractions, like a garbage truck going by, dogs barking, or a bird fluttering outside your window. Regardless of the distraction, it is important to focus on your job. What works for me is compiling a daily list of ‘need to get done today’ items. Although work-related distractions will inevitably happen (the impromptu meetings or screen shares), you will at least have your daily short list of items to bring you back to the tasks at hand.
  5. Lunch. I am not a lunch (or breakfast, for that matter) person, but being at home and knowing that there is food available makes me want to eat lunch! It isn’t all bad, though. Getting away from your desk for the 15 or so minutes is a great way to clear your mind and feed your belly. And if you throw a load of laundry in at that time? Score!
  6. Setting your end time. The beauty of working from home is not having to travel, and without the commute I always feel that I can work a little longer and get more done. That is a perk, but don’t go crazy. By that, I mean if you hear the 10 pm news from another room, you may want to cut back a bit. Set an alarm on your phone for your ‘ideal’ end time… for me, it is set for 7 pm.

That’s it. Hopefully these tips will help you, as well as help me, get through these somewhat challenging times. In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, and get to work!!