Many employers have made it official: Their employees will be working from home this summer. Now that you know the plan for the next couple of months, here are some things to think about.
Take time off
Remember to use paid time off to enjoy time away from work. “You need to do this,” said Melissa Gardner, senior vice president at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “I encourage the folks on the team I lead to enjoy a long weekend or take a Wednesday off to break up the week.”
Set up your workspace
Maybe you’ve been making do with a corner of the kitchen table or the couch. With at least a couple of months ahead of you, it may be time to figure out if you have what you really need. Do you have a keyboard and mouse, a large enough monitor, a comfortable chair? Make your set up work for you.
Check out the video below for more tips on setting up an at-home workspace:
Take advantage of being at home this summer. Work outside if you can or sit near an open window. Schedule breaks to sit in the sun for 5 minutes to get some Vitamin D.
Take a walk or run
Stretch your legs by walking or jogging around the neighborhood at lunch. Take a walk for meetings where you don’t need to be on screen. “Nobody will know if you are sweaty when you login to a meeting,” said Gardner.
Check out the video below for more tips on being physically active at home:
Assess your workday
Be mindful about taking breaks, stepping away from the computer and getting up to move about during the day. If you find this hard to do, schedule reminders on your phone or write a note by your computer that gets your attention.
Set an end to your work day. Being home doesn’t mean you have to be on call 24/7.
Talk about what you need
Talk to your leader, colleagues, or anyone else to share what you are feeling and to find what is working for others. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you are handling your work/life balance.
If there are things you’ve been wishing to do once things open up, find a new way to do them now. “If the first thing you want to do is go out for a nice dinner, find a great restaurant that is offering takeout, set your table, light a candle and make it an experience now,” advises Gardner.
Stop worrying about your appearance when you’re on a video conference. Gardner reminds her team members that they are not alone in being unshaven, wearing glasses, not wearing makeup, or being on screen with a messy mop of hair. “Be comfortable with who you are and make no apologies,” she preaches.
Share what’s working for you
Let your colleagues know about your at-home success and failures and listen carefully to theirs. “We’re all in this together,” said Gardner.