In 2020 and even in 2021, many people are finding that they must work from home, and if you’ve made the switch to working from home, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you adapt to your new work environment.
Make Some Space
While it can be tempting to work from your own bed, curled up under the sheets, it’s actually beneficial to create a designated work area. This will help you delineate between your home space and your work space, which can help you stay focused and organized. The act of moving from your home space to your work space can also help you transition to working or, at the end of the day, transition to relaxing at home.
A dedicated work area will help you keep important work documents in one secure space, help you stick to a work routine, help to reduce distractions from others, and help to keep your supplies easily accessible while you work. Whether you have a full home office or a designated corner of the kitchen table, having a set space can help you stay organized, focused and help you get into your new work routine.
Have a Plan
Keep an established routine. Doing so can help you achieve a work mindset when it’s time to accomplish tasks for the office and ease the transition when it’s time to relax at home. Maintain your usual routine as much as possible. If you used to work out before work, continue to do so, or if you’re used to taking a mid-morning coffee break, be sure to maintain that normalcy as well.
Keep an eye on your calendar also. Be sure to review your schedule at the beginning of the week and each day to get a sense of upcoming meetings and projects that need your attention. Develop a plan to feel more in control of your work day.
If needed, set office hours to clearly communicate to others when you’re working and when you’re not available. Doing so can help create boundaries between work and personal time and will help everyone respect each other’s time.
Maintain open lines of communication between yourself, your coworkers, and your boss. Because of certain circumstances associated with COVID-19, some of us may have additional obligations to attend to during normal work hours, such as caring for young children, homeschooling older children, or caring for an elderly loved one. Keeping an open dialogue with your employer can allow you to create a flexible work schedule to accommodate your unique obligations during this time.
Know Where to go for Tech Help
Working from home often means relying on technology to interact with colleagues and complete your usual work tasks, so it’s important to know where to go for tech help. Keep the phone number, email, or link to your company’s IT support in an easily accessible place in case you experience technical issues. Alternatively, keep a record of technical support contact information for the tools you use.
To minimize the disruption in the event of a technology outage, make sure your work team has everyone’s phone number and personal email address. This will allow you all to connect even in the event of an interruption of your normal business practices.
Know What’s Covered by your Insurance
While you’re likely taking precautions to be sure your technology is protected, whether you borrowed it from work or you personally own it, accidents can happen. This is why it’s vital to know what is protected under your insurance policy.
Typically, your employer’s business owner’s policy will offer some protection on damaged equipment. This may include a laptop that is damaged at an employee’s home. If an accident should occur, talk to your employer to figure out your next steps.
The other thing to know about it is your own homeowners, condo or renters’ insurance, which may also offer protection if an employer’s insurance will not cover damages to your work equipment. If this is the case, reach out to your insurance provider’s claim department, in the event of an accident. They’ll evaluate your insurance policy and walk you through the claim process. Be sure to check with your insurance agent if you have questions about coverage limits in your policy or what is covered under your insurance.
Working from home is an adjustment, and being adaptable to changing circumstances is a valuable skill. Keep these tips in mind to help you ease into this transition and adapt to working from home.