Updated: Mar 26, 2020
With the new reality of social distancing, working from home is becoming a new challenge for many Americans. Managing a work-life balance is hard enough even without physical boundaries. Now we are confined to our homes which means working, learning and living in shared spaces with our companions. We are deprived of our favorite coffee shops, bombarded with news, coping with loneliness (or not enough alone time), and trying our best to wash our hands and not panic.
Remember it is okay to take time to adjust. The human body adjusts to new environments and new routines all the time. It also needs time to cope with and manage stress and anxiety, which we may all be feeling in this current atmosphere.
Don’t be afraid of thriving in your new environment! Maybe working from home has opened your eyes to the benefits of having your own space. Now could be the perfect time to make working from home a full-time, year-round, goal or reality.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR NEW
COVID-19 has pushed many people back into a variety of living situations. Maybe you are back at home with your family, or maybe your living situation has not changed but you just spend more time at home. Living with someone 24 hours a day and 7 days a week can be difficult, whether you’ve lived with them before or not.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU GET BACK ON TRACK:
Communicate your schedule
Make sure your Coronavirus Companion knows your schedule, let them know if you have important meetings, an online test or a big project to complete
Plan activities in your off-hours, take a hike, walk or drive together, watch a movie, do a puzzle or play a game together
Schedule alone time, plan a time to leave the house, take a hike, walk or drive, allowing your companion(s) to spend time at home alone and ask for that to be reciprocated, try to allow each person to have at-home alone time once a week
Set quiet hours, or working hours
Separate a “workspace” and “living space” within your home, designate the dining table as co-working space, or use the coffee table as a classroom. Find a space your willing to ‘give up’ as living space and devote to working space
The Golden Rule
Respect others space, try to stay organized and not intrude on anyone’s working area, avoid moving or touching your companions’ things
Be understanding and respectful of time, try to respect varying sleep and bathroom schedules
Be considerate, if all you need to work is your laptop, offer the desk, kitchen or dining table to your COVID-19 companion
Create An Eating Schedule
‘Meet’ for lunch in the living or dining room at noon every day
Meal prep, and stick to an eating schedule
Pack a lunch, as usual, pack for you, your children or your spouses as you normally would
Make sure you're eating because you're hungry and not bored
When working from home just works for you
Voice to your boss or superior the successes you’re having at home
Show a connection using tangible results, increasing your sales, being more productive or expressing creativity
Stay connected and collaborative with your co-worker
Take initiative to help others transition easier to remote working
Create a contingency plan on how working remotely can be sustainable for the long term
Influence the attitudes around you, spread positivity, and point out the benefits of working from home
Remember to communicate to your corona companions what is and isn’t working, and to practice patience and kindness during your quarantine. Manage and cope with stress in healthy productive ways that are effective for you, and remember you are not alone in this!