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Tips for working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic

By Christopher Veazey, Recruiter

Over the last 20 years, I have worked from home quite a bit. Well, I wanted to take the time to offer some tips about working from home especially if you are new to it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While working remotely does have its advantages, it does require discipline. It comes with a sense of loneliness, and it can be challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. According to a 2019 Airtasker survey of more than 1000 professionals, remote workers reported feeling overly stressed working from home.

 A few tips based on what I've learned over the years:
 
1. Have a set schedule. Wake up, shower, coffee, breakfast, and get dressed (no sitting your PJ's all day). This will reinforce you have work to do and its a job.
 
2. Carve out some space you can work at in your home. I have a home office I use where I can close the door and concentrate and take calls etc., but space can be as simple as your dining room table.

3. Avoid distractions. Leave the TV switched off, no Netflix. It's probably best to avoid the news right now.

4. Take a walk at lunchtime, don't stay indoors all day! Go for a walk around your neighborhood if the weather permits. If you have to stay inside, take a break for lunch. Give yourself some time to recharge.

 5. It's okay to do some chores around the house. Emptying the dishwasher or putting a load in the washer takes less time than chatting with a co-worker in the office, and it takes something off your to-do list- which helps your frame of mind when you get back to your desk! 

6. Set alarms throughout the day. I typically set up timers for specific projects I am working on. The timers keep my day moving forward and offer me a sense of accomplishment.

7. Make calls. I am on the phone every day, whether it's business-related or a quick chat about something, being social will break the feeling of loneliness. I've been known to have serious conversations with my cats about business-related problems, so if you find yourself talking to your pets or yourself, I'd say its natural if you are working at home alone.

 8. Lastly, if your kids are home from school due to closures, be mindful of your time but don't forget to include them. Teenagers make great interns. Most kids are going to be home for 3-5 weeks, so they will need more than crayons and paper. You might want to recommend some on-line resources for learning; mental health professionals are recommending that you let them play more video games than you usually do, so this doesn't feel like a time of crisis.  Here is a great resource for ideas for your kids.