Due to the coronavirus outbreak, several companies in the Seattle area have sent people packing to work remotely at home. As I settled into my office this morning, I thought I might have some tips to share with folks that now find themselves without their office space. After all, I started my business from my kitchen table in 2002. I have a system that I think works great.
Designate your work area
If you have a home office, great. Use that. But if you don’t and your set up at the kitchen table, make sure there isn’t a mess all around you. It will distract you from working.
Every morning, shower dress and start work just like you are going to the office
I wake up at the same time each morning and have a start time to make. I know, I’m the boss and I don’t punch a clock, but I never found working in my robe or pajamas a good option. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you aren’t professional.
Take breaks throughout the day, but don’t get too distracted
You need to take a few breaks during the day. The Pomodoro technique is great to make sure you aren’t sitting too long. Make sure your break doesn’t turn into a house cleaning session.
Eat lunch away from your computer
If you head to a break room at work, make sure you do the same at your home office. Don’t be tempted to stay at your new desk to work through lunch.
Use headphones for your phone calls
Are other people home with you during your new remote workday? Using headphones on your calls will cut out background noises from family and pets.
Don’t have visitors
Did the neighbor notice you were home and come over for a chat? That’s so nice, but you need to tell them you’re on the clock.
Set your quitting time
End your day at the same time you normally would. Relax, put on your sweats and close your laptop.
I’m not sure how long this trend will last in Seattle, but I hope you can make the best of your new work environment. I think it’s a good thing that many companies are taking this virus seriously.