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Working From Home: Dos, Don’ts, and Tips to Have a Productive Workday

During self-isolation and quarantine, due to the COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus), many of us are working from home. For most of us, working from home is not the norm and there are some obvious challenges that can be stressful and hard to overcome.

Working remote doesn’t mean that you have to work from home. Although most choose to stay home, you have the freedom to work wherever you want as long as you have a strong Wi-Fi connection and are in an environment that doesn’t distract you from your work. But during this time, working from your local coffee shop is not recommended.

Regardless, it is important to focus on your health as well as your work. Be sure to get some fresh air by opening a few windows, working from your patio, or even taking a break and playing with your dog or kids in the backyard.

In addition to getting fresh air, here are some dos and don’ts that can make or break your day.

Working from Home Dos

Adjust your wake-up time and keep your morning routine. Because you don’t have to commute to the office you can adjust your wake-up time to get some extra sleep or use that extra time to do something else, such as:

  • Working out
  • Making breakfast
  • Taking the dog for a longer walk

You should also follow your normal morning routine—take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, style your hair, etc. —like you would as if you were going into the office. This may seem odd to do and it might be tempting to work in your PJs, but by keeping your routine will help keep your mind focused and ready to work.

Establish a positive work environment. Your working environment is very important. Find a place that fits all your needs or what you are used to having in an office setting, such as a quiet area, comfortable seating, good lighting, nearby outlets, near plants, etc.

No matter where you are working from, it is important to create a workspace that is comfortable and clear of distractions. A few things to keep in mind when creating a workspace:

  • Have a clean desk area.
  • Access to water, coffee, and snacks.
  • Access to a bathroom.
  • Strong Wi-Fi.
  • Access to an outlet to charge your laptop and phone.

Take breaks. Break time is important. Break as often as you normally would if you were in the office. Go for a walk, stretch, grab a coffee, or call a friend or coworker for a few minutes just to get a mental break from work tasks.

At the end of your workday do something active such as working out, going for run, or yoga. For most of us, our workdays end just as our afternoon or evening commute begins. It’s a good idea to incorporate a new routine when you are working from home to establish the end of a workday.

Working from Home Don’ts

Avoid working in bed. Don’t work from your bed/bedroom. This can make it harder to relax and sleep in the evening. If you work from your bed you may suffer from bad posture and back pain.

No slacking off. Don’t slack off just because you are at home and your boss isn’t watching. Stay focused on your tasks and don’t get distracted. Regardless if you are in the office or working remote, the company’s goals are still relevant and you have your responsibilities to do your part to help the company perform at its best.

Avoid the TV and social media. Don’t turn on the TV, play video games, or play fetch with your dog at the cost of neglecting your inbox and work tasks. It’s easy to get sucked into a show or news coverage and lose track of time.

During “office hours” you are expected to be working and completing your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks no matter where you are located.  Sitting at home doesn’t mean you get to check your Facebook, update your status on Twitter, or share a few photos on Instagram.

Bing isolated with little human interaction can cause stress and loneliness. Some may even turn to alcohol or other substances to help cope. If you or a loved one are recovering from substances abuse or has started using drugs or drinking during the COVID-19 isolation there are online support groups and helplines available.

American Addiction Centers admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about alcohol or drug abuse and treatment options.

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If you or a loved one is recovering from addiction or currently abusing substances, it may be challenging to find the help you need right now.

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