By Kate Maher
Marketing & Communications Executive, EHD
It’s been about four weeks since the management at EHD decided to ask its employees to work remotely. Well, those who weren’t doing it before. I have been working from home in North Carolina for about a year and a half, and in that time I have created some “rules” for myself, that ensure a happy, healthy and balanced workday. I know times are strange and many feel untethered and anxious about their new work situations, if they are lucky enough to still have jobs at all. Nevertheless, these rules help me even now, when so much else seems out of whack. I hope they can help you find some sense of normalcy, and maybe even give you a much-needed chuckle.
- DO get up for work at your normal time. It’s easy to think that you can just sleep until 8am then crawl out of bed and open your laptop, but you’ll feel much more productive after your morning cup of coffee and some breakfast, and really, some normalcy.
- DO NOT work in your pajamas. You’d think that one of the benefits of working from home is wearing whatever you want. But it really helps you to get more work done and get into a professional mind-frame when you at least managed to comb your hair and put on a new pair of leggings, instead of wearing your Snoopy pajamas for the third day in a row.
- DO set up a workstation that is away from all of the action in your house. Laundry, pets, chores, kids, and bored spouses are less likely to bother you when you’re in a room or space away from it all. Plus, it’ll help you with number 9.
- DO NOT hesitate to call your colleagues and clients just to check in. It’s easy to feel untethered and isolated when you work alone at home after being in an office with lots of people. I’m sure any one of us would appreciate a call from a co-worker, just to make sure we’re ok.
- DO take time out to eat a healthy, nourishing lunch away from your desk/workspace. You’ll actually have access to a kitchen (presumably), so take the opportunity to make something special.
- DO NOT take this as an opportunity to mindlessly eat junk food all day. I see you giant tub of UTZ cheese balls.
- DO take breaks throughout the day. Stretch your legs, refill your coffee, grab an apple, or walk the dog around the block. Your brain, and your dog, will thank you.
- DO NOT get tempted by Netflix, Hulu or Disney+. I know that Frozen 2 JUST came out. But, working from home doesn’t mean sitting on your couch, mindlessly scream-singing with Elsa to “let it go”, while your computer sits blankly on your lap.
- DO write down your list of priorities for the day. Jon once said that every day he sits down and writes out the five things he has to accomplish that day if nothing else. It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your real priorities. If you write them down, that’s less likely to happen.
- DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go down the internet rabbit hole. You might be sitting there, NOT in your pajamas, doing your work and suddenly you remember that you need to look up that guy who was in that movie five years ago that you just loved but you can’t, for the life of you, remember his name and you think you HAVE to look it up that second or you’ll die. Then, suddenly, it’s 4:12 and you haven’t accomplished anything you had on your aforementioned list because you went down the [insert popular website/social media/online shopping site here] wormhole. Write your random thoughts down and look them up later. Your productivity, and your priority list, will thank you.
- DO shut down your computer at the end of the workday. It’s really easy to lose yourself when you’re at home, in your space, again NOT in your PJ’s, without the distractions of the office. Your mental and emotional health is worth a firm shut down time. And, again, TAKE YOUR LUNCH.
- DO NOT underestimate the productivity power of working from home. Even though we are all in this situation due to reasons outside of our control, you might just find that working in a new location allows you to refocus, sparks new creativity, or inspires some newfound peace. Lean into the positives of this experience, we’ll all get through it together (well, together in spirit… and at least six feet apart).