Stuck at home “in the office”?
With COVID-19 hitting us fast and hard in 2020, we saw a shift in businesses and their policies come about quite quickly. Many office positions are now home-based, and we saw brick-and-mortar stores move towards more online platforms. This may become the new norm for us, even with the roll-out of vaccinations, many employees may find themselves still working from home for months to come.
There are many benefits to working from home: commute times have been reduced to the bare minimum, the coffee may be better, you can sleep in a bit longer, you may be more productive without those interruptions from co-workers, and you will have more time to spend with your family and friends (within the COVID-19 guidelines, of course). But with the positives, there may come a few negatives as well.
For some, it may be hard to “get into work” mode when you have a pile of dishes in the sink that are calling out to you (a daily occurrence for me), or the stack of laundry may get in your way when you’re trying to get to your computer. You’re around the house more you so you will tend to see all of the tasks that need to be done. Basically, you can’t just walk out the front door and ignore those things until you get home from work.
There are a few tips to help you make a bit easier to navigate your new norm. First, try and designate an office area that you can use. Ideally, this space will be away from the kitchen (so you don’t stare at those dishes!), and in a quiet area of the home if other family members are around. It’s important to designate “work” from “leisure” spaces in your home.
Secondly, set office hours and make sure your family knows what those times are. It’s important that you set those parameters so you can be productive and get your work done. You can even put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door if you think it will help. Personally, I have a “Tax Ninja at Work” sign that I need to start using more!
Thirdly, make sure you take time for yourself. You are going to have long hours in front of your computer screen and your in-person meetings have now been replaced by Zoom. Make sure you take regular breaks, get outside for some fresh air and/or a walk, and eat well. Take advantage of the extra time that you have now since you’re not commuting and put that time towards your self-care. Maybe you even have time to dust off the old crockpot now that you have more time in the mornings!
Overall, enjoy this new norm and make the best of it, and remember we are all in this together! Sigh…back to the office I go!
May 7th, 2021