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April 16, 2020

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With the global spread of COVID-19, many employees have been working from home. If you’ve never worked remotely, the prospect can be intimidating. Here are some tips to ease the transition.

  1. Maintain regular hours. Set a schedule and stick to it, just like you would at the office.
  2. Create a morning routine. What tells your mind and body that it’s almost time to start work? For some it may be a cup of coffee; for others, a morning run. Take a shower, groom yourself and get dressed. This will help you get focused on your day.
  3. Make rules with those who share your space. During this unprecedented time, children are home from school sharing the house with you. If you don’t have kids, you may have a spouse or roommate who is also working from home. You need clear rules about who can do what, when and where.
  4. Schedule breaks. Take your lunch hour or any other breaks that you normally would at the office.
  5. Get out of the house. Try to leave your workspace or home regularly. Take a walk around the neighborhood or sit on the back porch. But follow social distancing rules! The fresh air and sunlight will do you good.
  6. Ask for what you need, within reason. Think about what tools you need to perform your job effectively.
  7. Keep a dedicated office space. Not everyone has a separate office in their home. But you can keep your business and personal computer time separate. For example, do work on your laptop at the kitchen table. When it’s time for personal computer use, put it on your lap while in bed or on the couch.
  8. Socialize with colleagues. Suddenly being physically isolated from your work friends and colleagues can be difficult, especially if you’re an extrovert. Stay in touch as you would at the office. A simple email, text or phone call can help keep you connected.
  9. Take Paid Time Off (PTO). If you’re not well, let your manager know. It can be tempting to “power through” sickness and continue to work, since you are already working from home. But your body and mind need time to recuperate if you are ill.
  10. Communicate. When working remotely, it can be easy to feel isolated. Keep your manager, coworkers and clients updated on your schedule, progress and availability.

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