The Do’s and Don’ts of Working from Home
Many Kappa Delta sisters have had to transition from working in an office to working from home to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Some may relish the opportunity to send emails in sweatpants, but others may find the novelty of working from home quickly wears off. You may miss daily interactions with your coworkers, regret complaining about those weekly staff meetings or long for a chance to don your blazer again.
If you aren’t already accustomed to the home-office life, the transition can be challenging. We’ve gathered tips from our members and the KDHQ team to help ease the switch.
Do stick to your normal working hours and routine. If your typical workday consists of a 7 a.m. alarm, two cups of coffee and workout, try to emulate those tasks as if you are headed into the office. If you normally work 9 to 5, block off that time to get your work done. Maintain the good habits you’ve established and stick to your weekday routine to feel more normal in these unusual circumstances.
Don’t feel guilty about staking out a work zone. Pets, children, spouses and roommates may mean well, but they can inadvertently cause distractions. If you can, set up a home office in an area of the house that is away from all the noise. If you still find yourself being interrupted, try hanging a “Quiet Please” sign on the door.
Do make certain your WiFi and home technology is working properly. If your work is similar to that of the KD headquarters staff, completing projects from home would not be possible without a working laptop and a good wireless connection. Nothing is more frustrating than video chatting with your team only to see your screen freeze or finding that a document failed to save because your computer unexpectedly shut down. Before you begin your workday, check that your devices are charged, and test your internet connection before you need to join a virtual meeting.
Don’t slack on communication. When an office works remotely, communication between coworkers becomes vitally important. Remember to check emails, respond to instant messages and reply to texts promptly. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call if you have an urgent question. Utilize Facetime or other meeting technologies to see people’s expressions and feel more connected. Your team will appreciate your efforts to stay in the loop.
Do take advantage of the opportunities working from home grants you. There are some bonuses to working from home. You can use your lunch break to walk your dog around the block, complete a spreadsheet while in your comfiest sweatshirt and enjoy your added free time that you would have spent commuting to the office every morning. Try to focus on the positive aspects of working remotely instead of becoming frustrated with the situation.
Don’t work around the clock. It can be difficult to set boundaries and step away from your desk when working from home. Before you know it, you may find yourself working until the late hours only to come up for air to grab a snack and get a few hours of sleep. Eventually, working so intensely may take a toll on your mental health, especially during these challenging times. Remember to stand up and stretch, get moving by jogging in place and drink plenty of water. Consider implementing the Pomodoro Technique, in which you focus on working for 25-minute increments, followed by a five-minute break.