Here at E-Typist, we have more than 15 years of experience working remotely. Although many things have changed about the virtual workplace over the years, working from home is easier than ever. Tools such as Zoom make meetings accessible across the world. Slack allows employees to chat at the virtual watercooler.
Our business model is based around providing virtual support and services to busy legal professionals. The E-Typist team consists of employees who thrive and benefit from a work from home environment.
As more employees adjust to working remotely for the indefinite future, we recognize those employees will have a learning curve to getting in the groove. Based on our experience, these are our tips for working from home.
- Keep Your Morning Routine
When you transition to working from home, you’re already making a big change to your daily schedule. It’s important to keep your routine as much as you can.
While you don’t have to worry about putting the business in business casual anymore, don’t be tempted to just get up and work in your pajamas. If you get up every morning and do yoga before going to the office, keep doing that from home. Take a shower, get ready and make a nice breakfast.
- Set Aside Space to Work
If working remotely is new to you, you may not have a room set aside as the perfect home office. No matter what you do at first, recognize and honor that your at-home work set-up is going to feel different. Give yourself time to adjust.
There may be a temptation to post up on the couch or kitchen table with your laptop. It’s important to find a space at home that mirrors your office set-up as much as possible.
To achieve that similar work environment, maybe you need to order a comfy rolling office chair or add a monitor to your set-up. You may need a head-set to make calls easier. Create a space that is made just for work.
- Maintain Standard Work Hours
You may be shaving off two hours from your work day by eliminating your commute but that doesn’t mean that you work for those extra hours. When you work from home, it’s important to create set hours the same way you would in the office. Pack up and leave your home working space at the same time you would at the office.
If you always take a lunch break at noon, you should do that at home. Don’t sit in the same space you’re working to eat. Maintaining proper boundaries between space designated for work and the rest of your home will bring balance.
We know you aren’t sitting at the office for 8 hours straight so you shouldn’t do that at home either. Using timers or stopwatches to schedule your breaks can be helpful. Walk around and get some air if you need to.
- Fight the Isolation Blues
While introverts may thrive at home, it can be a tough adjustment for extroverts to spend their working hours solitary. Introverts can go a whole day without speaking to anyone and feel fine. For an extrovert, that proves much more challenging.
It’s important to maintain contact with coworkers and friends when you work from home. If you’re missing having lunch with your coworkers, organize a Google hangout with everyone to get the feeling like you’re in the office cafeteria. Set up a Slack channel to stay in touch throughout the day.
It’s okay to need to vent. If your coworkers are your support system, find a way to continue to lean on them while working from home.
- Set Clear Boundaries
Working from home is not a break from work. It’s still work! If you are working remotely in a household with your partner, roommate, kids or parents, your loved ones can quickly become a distraction.
Make sure your fellow housemates understand when you are working. If your partner or roommate is also working from home, it may be necessary that you find separate spaces to work from.
You may have commitments at home that require your attention during working hours, it’s okay to convey that to your employer. Managing a virtual team may be new to them. Clear communication on both ends will help this transition.
We hope these tips for working from home help you during this time of social distancing and flattening the curve. Give yourself time to adjust and figure out what works best for you.
If you are an experienced virtual assistant looking for remote work, make sure you visit our employment page for more information.