Top Ten #WFH Tips.

We know not everyone is used to working remotely for long stretches like this, so we put together these tips for my office based on our previous years of working from home and thought we would share.

1. Do NOT work from bed. Or the couch if you can avoid it. Set up an area that will be your dedicated work space. If you have to use a kitchen table or coffee table take the time to get it set up each morning for work by removing the usual objects that are there during normal use. Then, at the end of the day put the work stuff away and put things back to normal.

2. Put on pants. Seriously. Get dressed every morning like you are coming to the office. Working in your PJs sounds great at first, but after a few weeks it starts to get horribly depressing. Sticking to your morning routine will help give you a more defined sense of purpose and make it easier to get into work mode.

3. Don’t turn on Netflix. Yes, we’ve all seen The Office enough times we can figure out which episode it is by hearing a few lines, but using TV as a radio/music/podcast substitute doesn’t work. It pulls your focus away in a different way and makes you a lot less productive.

4. Stick to regular work hours unless necessary. It is way too easy to say oh I’ll check this email or work on this project more after dinner. Start doing that on a daily basis and you will burn yourself out fast. If you wouldn’t still be at the office working on it or you wouldn't normally do it outside of normal hours, then save it until the next day. Also don't say you'll do it later as a way of procrastinating. Let's admit it, you won't.

5. Get up and move around. Even if you don’t normally take breaks at the office, you need to now. Stepping away from the computer and resetting is important to keep you from burning out and avoiding depression. If possible, try to take short walks outside and make sure you get some sunlight.

6. Take care of yourself. Working from home can be incredibly isolating. Try to eat healthy, exercise and talk to people. Don’t just text or message everyone, actually pick up the phone and talk to them or do a video Zoom chat.

7. Anxious? Overwhelmed? There are plenty of tools readily available to seek professional treatment options thanks to telemedicine and the bet part, it's covered under most insurance plans.

8. Yoga and meditation are great tools for managing stress, and they can be done in a small space; check to see if your local studio is streaming guided classes. You can also turn to apps like Headspace and Talkspace for virtual mindfulness training and therapy, respectively.

9. Find ways to bond with your co-workers remotely. Harvard Business School’s Prithwiraj “Raj” Choudhury, who studies remote work and the relationships between geography and productivity, found an interesting solution to boosting camaraderie among remote workers: pizza parties. While researching remote work habits at the U.S. Patent Office — which implemented a more robust “work from anywhere” policy in 2011 — Choudhury discovered a manager who hosted weekly lunches via videoconferencing.

“She would order the exact same pizza to be delivered at the same time so the team would have that bonding experience and still feel like a team,” says Choudhury. “This is the future of work, so we cannot just keep doing stuff in the old familiar ways, we have to create new processes.”

10. Make sure you upgrade your tech tool game. There are plenty of project management softwares, shared drives, video conferencing apps available. Take the time to tryout what works for you!

Zoom — for videoconferencing
Slack — for chat
Confluence — for internal wiki
Miro — for ideation, strategy and project planning, central project hub, presentations
Google Suite — for spreadsheets, simple docs
Basecamp - project management for teams

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