How to Survive Working from Home

Whether this is your first time working from home or your hundredth, here are some tips to help you stay focused and help balance the demands of work and home life while coronavirus remains a concern.

  • Manage expectations. Ask your manager what the priorities are, how your team will discuss projects, and if there will be standing meetings at certain times to get everyone on the same page. This is an ongoing conversation and a time to be honest about what works and what doesn’t.
  • Get your technology in order. If you don’t have access, discuss what you can and can’t do with your team and supervisor. Find out what applications or technology you’ll need to get from your IT department.
  • Know yourself (and your weaknesses). Do you get easily distracted? Try getting into the workflow by engaging in your normal routine (getting dressed, etc.). The next bullet point also helps with this. Are you the type to never take breaks? Set a timer. Try to maintain normal working hours.
  • Create your workspace. Pick a spot where you can feel organized, with the tools you need to get your work done.
  • If you have children, create a schedule. Stick to a schedule that replicates a normal school day. Juggling responsibilities with a partner? Try alternating shifts where one partner watches the kids and the other gets to have uninterrupted work time.
  • Watch your physical and mental well-being. Lines between home and work will blur for the next few weeks. You might feel yourself struggling to protect your mental health while caring for your family’s physical health. Be proactive to prioritize your health and well-being. Some of the above and below will help maintain a feeling of normalcy.
  • Take a break. Get outside, grab a snack, or indulge in your favorite podcast. Don’t let any sort of guilt or shame prevent you from taking a moment to relax.
  • Limit screen time. Set a daily allowance on social media.
  • Practice self-compassion and express gratitude. This is a tough time for everyone right now. Be kind to yourself. Recognize and accept that some things may not get accomplished and forgive yourself. Even in a crisis, there is probably something you can think of to be thankful for. Write out a quick list or share your gratitude with your family or friends.