1. Stick to your normal morning routine. That includes having breakfast, showering, making coffee, and maybe trying out one of the many online workouts that gyms are live streaming right now. Whatever your normal weekday routine looks like, keep doing it.
2. Get Dressed. Yes, it is tempting to stay in your pjs all day, and we aren’t going to lie, we have all done it, but it is amazing how much putting on a pair of pants and brushing your hair can make you feel more professional and focused. Bonus: it also means you will be ready for the unexpected, like that last-minute video call invite from your boss.
3. “Commute” to work. Create a ritual that marks the beginning and end of your workday. This could be taking 15 minutes to listen to your favorite podcast or playlist, meditating, making a to-do list, or even leaving the house and taking a walk around the block (while keeping your distance from others). These actions can help you mentally separate home life from work life.
4. Create a designated workspace. If you don’t have a home office or an extra room, find a space in your living room or at your kitchen table that you can dedicate as your workspace during the day. We do not recommend working in your bedroom – that can make it extra challenging to separate work from home.
5. Set work hours. Establish your work hours and let everyone in your house (partners, kids, roommates) know that during those hours, you are at work. This serves the double purpose of helping you stay productive and making sure that you clock out at the end of the day. A note: Under our “new normal”, if you are on a video call and your dog, child, or partner makes a surprise appearance, don’t worry about it. We're all learning how to WFH together and are doing the best we can!
Also, if you and your boss have agreed to your work hours changing, communicate this change to your coworkers and clients. Consider adding your new hours to your email signature and your chat app (i.e. Slack, Microsoft Teams) profile.
Bonus tip: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Working remotely means that those little exchanges you normally have throughout the day with your colleagues don’t happen. Be purposeful in reaching out to team members by email, chat app, or by phone (for longer conversations). Clear, consistent communication will help recreate a ‘normal’ work environment and ensure your team and work stay on track.