Adjusting to the New Normal – Tips for Working from Home

Contributed by: Sarah Scheffer, Marketing Director

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have sent their employees home to work. While some states have begun the reopening process, many companies have opted to leave their teams at home, at least for the time being.

With their typical routines turned upside down because of the health crisis, our accounting team handled the abrupt changes extremely well, successfully transitioning our staff from the office to their homes back in mid-March. Yes, they miss their multiple monitors, office birthday celebrations, the copier, and free coffee, but the move was fairly seamless, and our professionals handled it in stride.

I asked them to share some of their tips—things that helped them settle into their home office.  From carving out a physical space in their home…to finding ways to maximize productivity and focus…to maintaining a healthy work/life balance, here is what the LMR team has found to be helpful:

Get Dressed
It may seem simple, but you will feel more confident and be more productive by taking care of yourself (and you will be prepared for that unexpected Zoom call).

Keep a Routine
Stick to a clearly defined schedule – even if you have some flexibility to work as you wish throughout the day/week.

Get Comfortable
Set up a comfortable, designated workspace with the tools you need to do your job, even if temporary. Clear separation is ideal. Oh, and be sure you have proper seating!

Visible Communication
Establish a visible communication system. Create and post signs that communicate with others in the household. Examples include: I am busy, In A Meeting Until 10 am, On a Zoom Call, Available for Hugs.

Communication is Key
As much as email can seem super-efficient, sometimes you need to pick up the phone or get on a video call to really connect with a team member or client.

Go Outside
You have a very short commute, allowing you some flexibility to get up and out! Take the pup who has been at your feet all day for a walk. Exercising and re-charging during the middle of the day will boost your productivity and your spirit!

No Screen (Sometimes)
Schedule some tech-free time. Working remotely, endless conference calls, online happy hours, virtual learning for the children has exacerbated the problem of too much screen time for everyone. Make time to step away from your digital devices.

Talk to Someone (Besides Yourself)
Working from home can be lonely, especially with no co-workers to bounce ideas off of at the water cooler. It’s important to be sure you are communicating your needs AND building your career. Chat with a friend periodically. Attend virtual Chamber networking events.

Be Kind
We have all had some struggles with communication, productivity, and focus. We need to remember what matters most during these unprecedented times:  trust, empathy, understanding, flexibility, collaboration, and kindness. Take care of each other. Be kind.

With positive attitudes, plenty of coordination, and lots of conversation—we’ve settled into our new routines. Yes, we could be facing a much longer work from home situation, so we will have to adjust and adapt. Be productive and focused, and take advantage of the flexibility. Tackle that laundry in between Zoom meetings. And above all, take care of yourself.