Working from Home, the New Normal

As news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold, we should all take a moment to think about what our new sense of “normal” will be during this time.

For those of us able to, working remotely will become our new normal and, with schools on an extended close, our children will become our new co-workers. But balancing both work and familial responsibilities under one roof for an extended time can quickly become hectic. How can you keep yourself on track?

Stick to your daily schedule

Wake up at your usual time and run through your morning routine. Keeping to some aspects of your pre-work schedule will help maintain a sense of normalcy that’ll be needed in the next couple weeks – even if the commute is just to your dining room table.

Make lists

Create a list of the work items you’d like done, or at least started, by the end of the day and cross off each item as it’s completed. This simple and effective practice will help you stick to a schedule and keep you on track with work responsibilities. Be sure to schedule regular breaks for yourself as well. Take your dog out on a walk, go for a run, get some fresh air. Staying in one place for too long can have adverse effects on your productivity. Schedule in small errands to break your day and to give you some relief from tedious work tasks.

Don’t stop learning

Do you have a family with school-aged children? Keeping young children occupied is one thing but keeping them constantly engaged is another job altogether. While you work all day, what will the kids do? Consider these resources with daily activities in math, reading and writing that will keep them busy while you dial in to your next call.

Keep it moving

With gyms, yoga studios and other public spaces shutting down, many of us find ourselves without a place to exercise. And while a couple of laps around the block may do it for some of us, it may not be enough for others. Some gym apps have begun offering free trial memberships, so workout enthusiasts won’t have to miss a day at the gym—even if that gym is in their basement. Visit these websites and their apps for exercise inspiration.

Log off at a reasonable time

Just because your home is your new office doesn’t mean you have to always be at the office. Be sure to log off at a reasonable time. Don’t let the line between your personal and work life being to blur. After you’ve completed what’s needed of you, get back to doing what you would normally do after a hard day at the office—grab a drink, go for a walk, unwind.

It’s very clear that we’re in a period of uncertainty. A lot of us are unsure how to adopt a business as usual attitude as we retreat to the comfort of our own homes. But as we reassess our new “normal”, it will be helpful to focus on things we can do to manage our productivity, wellness and relationships, both at work and at home.