Remaining productive when
WORKING FROM HOME
s of mid-April, about 95% of Americans—
or 306 million people—were placed under
a stay-at-home order to stop the spread of
the coronavirus. This means that in a mat-
ter of days we’d been thrown into the larg-
est work-from-home experiment in history.
But disruption is an opportunity for innovation. It’s critical
that you stay as productive as possible during this time—for
your own career, for your company, and for our larger economy.
With that in mind, here are eight tips for working from home,
whether you’ve been doing this for years or just a few days.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
No one really knows how long the coronavirus shutdown will
last. For now, you need to think of this as your new normal
and get into a regular routine.
Wake up at the same time every morning, get dressed, show
up, and work hard—just like you would when you go into the
offi ce. If you have kids, especially little ones, then writing
and posting a physical schedule is a must. Look at the day (or
week) ahead and plan out meetings, schoolwork, screen time
for the kids and even chores that need to get done. Involve
your kids in the planning process, too. It will really help them
buy in and participate.
Also, make sure to power down at the end of the day. You
don’t have a physical commute that separates you from the
offi ce, so create a ritual to help you disconnect. Walk the dog,
go on a short drive, or get in a solid workout.
Set clear boundaries with your family or roommates
Unless you live alone, you’re sharing your home and your
offi ce with other people. If you’re not clear about your ex-
pectations, and respectful of what everyone else needs, you’ll
start to feel tension rise up.
If you live with other adults, then you should be able to
set clear expectations in just one or two conversations. But if
you’re married or have kids, it’s a good idea to have a regular
check-in to make sure you’re all on the same page. Ask your
roommates (or family) to be respectful when you’re digging
into a project or on a conference call.
TAKE YOUR PERSONALITY INTO ACCOUNT
Some of you introverts are having the time of your life work-
ing from home. Some of the extroverts out there are panick-
ing about not having human interaction for the foreseeable
future. Don’t feel guilty because your routine looks a little
different from your coworker’s, or even your spouse’s.
Refl ect on how it’s going, and check in with yourself from
time to time. Are you easily distracted? Do you need to move
around and be active? Are you able to sit down and just knock
out work hour after hour? Be patient with yourself as you
settle into a rhythm.
UNDERSTAND WHAT TECHNOLOGY YOU NEED
Now’s the time to make friends with your IT department.
You’ll probably run into a few snags as you fi gure out tech-
nology from home. Ask your leader about the software you’ll
need and make sure you’re able to access it. You don’t want
to waste time at home because you don’t have the tools you
need to get the job done.
CREATE A WORKSPACE
Having a space for your home offi ce will help you stay focused
and get into work mode. It also helps you create a physical
boundary to separate you from roommates or family. If you
don’t have a home offi ce, you might need to claim the dining
room table or a desk in your bedroom. Make it personalized
and keep it clean.
STEP UP THE COMMUNICATION
Your success as a remote worker boils down to one thing:
your ability to communicate with your leader and team. And
if you’re in leadership, then it’s even more critical for you to
communicate well as you manage your team remotely.
At the same time, don’t let the digital communication over-
whelm your productivity. Unless your position requires you
to be on call, feel free to unplug from notifi cations when you
need to focus. Just communicate to your teammates as to
when you’ll be available again.
When you work remotely, it’s easy to blur the lines between
life and work. Some people tend to work extra-long hours,
and others might be tempted to slack off. Neither extreme is
healthy. By scheduling breaks throughout your day, you give
yourself something to look forward to.
HAVE SOME FUN
Working from home has its perks, and you should enjoy
them. Take advantage of the slower pace. Play with your dog
once in a while, or have breakfast as a family.
Also, make sure to have fun with your coworkers. Share fun
pictures and updates from your life, in addition to the “business