Impact Insights

The New Normal: Tips on Working from Home

Kim Haynie

As much of the world dreams of “working from home,” sometimes the reality isn’t as rosy as it sounds.

The response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) has included a shift to many people working remotely and from home to help prevent spreading the virus. You may be experiencing stress, and we still have (at least) a few more weeks of sheltering in place in store.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • The kids are home from school, and you’re trying to work AND keep them busy (and fed!).
  • Your household is trying to navigate conference calls/web meetings simultaneously.
  • You live alone and don’t necessarily love being alone all day.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, your sense of normalcy has changed, and you are now working from home, discovering both the benefits, as well as some of what others may consider the disadvantages of working out of your home.

Here are a few tips for adapting quickly to working from your home.

  • Create an office area to help separate work hours and home life. It may be helpful to start earlier than normal while your house is more settled. Communicate with your manager and coordinate the best hours for all.
  • If your house is Grand Central Station right now, queue up your favorite music or spa sounds with those earbuds or noise-cancelling headphones you typically use on long plane rides.
  • Turn off social and news media. Between politics and COVID-19, outlets are vying for our eyes and attention. It’s very easy to get sucked into the drama and fearmonger tactics. Take a break from that noise – literally. These stories can consume our attention and not always for the better. Except for that video of the woman illustrating how germs don’t stick to soap – that’s a good one.
  • Schedule a walk. If possible, take your break outside and get some fresh air.
  • Set a timer. Get up, stretch frequently and keep snacking to healthy portions. It’s easy to grab the bag of something, and then the Girl Scout cookies disappear. But I’ve only heard that can happen (seriously, Thin Mints are the best).
  • Communicate with your manager/team. Make sure you regularly update your team on your progress and let them know if you don’t have what you need to succeed at home.

Most importantly? BREATHE. We’re all experiencing anxiety and none of us knows exactly how this will impact us individually. Struggling in silence is so 2019. Reach out if you need us. If we stay focused, productive, and positive, we’ll get through this together.