A Newbie’s Guide to Working From Home

A lot of Canadians have been sent to work from home as a measure of protection against coronavirus.

If you have never worked from home before, here’s a beginner’s guide to working from home. Outlined here are how to minimize distractions, keep yourself concentrated, and ensuring you aren’t overworking yourself. This is the rulebook you want to follow.

Rule #1 – Measure Productivity

A big challenge to work at home is being productive. It’s easy to be lazy, check out Facebook, listen to music, and zone out. As a means of staying focused, set productivity goals hourly. Your performance relies on hitting these marks. Don’t beat yourself up if your productivity is less than expected. This is normal. It’s an adjustment working from home.

Rule #2 – Eliminate Leisure Activities

Set aside a space in your home that will be strictly for work during set hours. Remove leisure activities. Eliminate distractions. Say to yourself that you’re going to sit in this chair and concentrate. If possible, set up an ergonomic home office. This approach prioritizes comfort without making things so comfy that you fail to produce.

Rule #3 – Do You Have a Child At Home?

Coronavirus has shut down a lot of facilities that would normally take care of your child. Give permission to allow yourself to take care of your child when they need you. It’s easy to get frustrated by interruptions. Let it go. Know going in that your child’s at home and they’re going to need assistance. Check in every hour with them, set aside some time to be with them, or split time with your partner.

Rule #4 – Wake Up, Get Dressed, and Go To Work

Don’t make this an excuse to work in your pajamas. Wake up when you normally would. Get dressed like you normally would going into the office. Follow the same pattern you would. This cues your brain into behaving in the same way, maintaining the concentration at work that normally would apply. Replicate your office experience as well as you can.

Rule #5 – Make a Social Effort

Extroverts are at a disadvantage being sent home to work in isolation. It’s a wholly different environment, for anyone who is used to working in an office around their colleagues. Make an effort, especially if you are an extrovert or live alone, to speak with someone over the phone, Skype, Facebook, etc. You don’t want to feel like you’re losing out on that social connection. Outside of work-from-home hours, take the time to connect with someone.

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