So COVID-19’s got you working from home? Here are our best tips (that you didn’t ask for but that we’re happy to share) for making the most of social distancing and getting great work done in la casa.
Change out of the pajamas.
Working from home seems like a great reason to never change out of PJs. Just roll out of bed, sit in front of the computer, and you’re at work! Magic. But you should still change into “getting work done” clothes. At some point. If you feel like it. We might recommend around noon, or whenever the PJs are so covered in cheese puff dust that you’re too embarrassed to enable your webcam on conference calls.
Keep your work station and your living areas separate.
Working from home makes it so easy to just stay in bed all day long, but we recommend designating a specific work area. Why? Eh, we don’t actually know. Some science-y stuff about how your mind is trained to expect certain activities in certain areas. So just don’t work from your bed! (Unless you want to today.)
Separate “work time” and “me time.”
Try to stick to regular work hours and, in general, not mess up your usual routine too much. Don’t sleep in too late, even though you don’t have that commute to worry about. And maybe consider showering once and awhile. Not, like, daily or anything crazy. I mean, it’s not like you’ll be around many people! Hahaha! When even the cat is avoiding you, that’s how you know it’s probably time.
Speaking of cats, which are maybe your only company right now (LOL!), you should definitely download PawSense to cat-proof your computer. It helps prevent those nosy critters from entering random commands and crashing your computer when they decide to walk across your keyboard.
Communicate with your coworkers.
Still speaking of cats, don’t be afraid of confrontation. Respectfully communicate to them that you will release them into the wild if they continue to use you as a scratching post while you’re trying to get work done. This applies to other pets as well. And children. And spouses/significant others.
Turn your notifications on.
You don’t want to be that person in the office whose computer, watch, and phone are always beeping, dinging, ringing, etc. But you can be that person at home (especially if you’re the only one there! All alone!). That way you don’t miss when someone’s trying to get your attention and they can’t yell across the room to you or pound on the door to your office like they usually would.
Put on some background noise.
Sitting in silence all day can get lonely, even if you don’t notice it right away. If you live by yourself and the cats aren’t speaking to you because you haven’t showered, turn on the TV in the other room or play some music. Set your Slack notification sound to “hummus.” It may be the only sound you hear for weeks. Ha. Haha. Ha.
Got kids? Put ‘em to work.
There are all kinds of ideas out there about how to keep your kiddos occupied so you can actually get some work done. But we’re going to do you one better. We’re gonna suggest that you put those kids to work. Why should they be having all the fun? Get one of them to sit in on your conference call and make noises every so often (“mhmm,” “ah,” “I agree,” “That’s not going to work, Karen. Gosh, I’ve told you a million times,” etc.) and throw in a cough here or there. Then you can play with the LEGOs.
You’re at home, but you’re still working. Your mind and body need a rest just like they do at the office. Might we recommend getting out of the house every few hours? Sit on the porch. Go for a quick walk. Dig a pit in your backyard and scream into the abyss. It’s called self-care.
Use that webcam.
As inclined as you might be to just talk over the phone, seeing how disheveled and lonely everyone else on your team looks will help cheer you up. Everyone is struggling—it’s not just you!
In all seriousness, we hope you’re hanging in there and got at least a chuckle out of this. We don’t want to minimize the severity of this terrible situation, and we know it’s a blessing to still be working and earning a paycheck right now. But we also know working from home can be really hard—especially for extended periods. Here are some actual ideas for counterbalancing the physical and psychological effects of doing so.
And to all of the essential workers out there, our thoughts are with you! Thank you for keeping our hospitals, ambulances, grocery stores, and other necessary services running.
The 2 Fish Co. Team