With COVID-19 we are quickly navigating a new normal, that of working from home during a global crisis. It is not the same as working at home over the long haul or working from home during a traditional time. There are 4 essential tips to ensure your success as you continue to work, home school and more in the same space daily. Follow these tips to keep your sanity and work success.
Start with great self care
The pandemic requires a lot of emotional and physical well being. Start prioritizing self care. That means creating an environment that supports you and your family.
- Create a night time and bed time routine to support rest. In times of transition, we rely on routines to help us. A productive day starts the night before. End work in order to have dinner together, spend time together, and get in bed for 8 hours of rest.
- Include time outside in your work and school routines. A family walk or bike ride in the middle of the day helps everyone clear their head and get re-energized.
- Boundaries are necessary with social media. It’s tempting to spend time checking social media when you are feeling drained and unsure of your next priority. Help everyone, most especially your teens, by modeling and setting expectations.
Set up your space
By now you have been spending time at home adjusting to your new space. You know what is not working for you and your homeschooling.
- Declutter and create space in your office to do real work. It’s a reality check to clear out what is unnecessary and edit your stuff. You will be glad you did!
- Set up multiple spaces for your kids to work. It can be unconventional like a hammock in the back yard or a make shift tent in a family room. Separate spaces are great for everyone to work without distractions. It also gives everyone a little space to decompress and focus in on work.
- Video meetings are a requirement of work and school life right now. These are the social connections we have during the pandemic too. Think of this area as you video studio. Be sure you have reviewed best practices for you and your kids at a family meeting.
- Check in with appropriate attire for your work day. Dress for the meetings as you would in real life unless otherwise noted by your employer.
Over-communication during this transition keeps everyone connected, up to date, and sure of next steps.
- Discuss work hours with your employer, especially to the start and end of your work day.
- Clarify expectations about tasks and projects. Will there be daily check in? How will priorities be discussed? What will be the success metrics? Be sure everyone agrees and has this in writing as well as verbally.
- Resolve challenges with a phone call. It is easy to misinterpret information and tone with text and email. A phone call makes it easy to clarify what has happened and how to rectify the situation.
- Create a system for sharing documents. Agree to one online system that everyone can use and share. Use what’s easiest to access and be sure there is password protection.
Work life integration
Now let’s add back in the rest of the story – those kiddos are home too.
- If your kids’ assignments arrive on Monday at 9 am, plan around that time. Allocating time to get the kids started will allow you to work more productively.
- Share responsibilities and tag team if possible. Parents can share shifts of homeschooling.
- Manage expectations of yourself and your kids’ assignments. You are all learning resilience as well as math and reading.
There is a lot of “life learning”going on at this time. Be aware of nuances in you and your family’s transition to work from home. It’s a great opportunity to give your family kudos.