Tips From a 100% Work-From-Home Company to Not Lose Your Mind While Telecommuting During Coronavirus
There’s a saying that if you’re going to get advice on gardening from someone, you should see how much fruit they have on their tree before deciding if they are the right people to listen to. During the current circumstance we’re facing at a global scale as we all try and do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, we understand that for many of you working from home is a foreign concept, and you’re not quite sure how to remain sane while practicing extreme social distancing. Fret not! Our Nytro Marketing team is made up of professionals from all over the world, all of whom have been working from home for years and have come together on this post to share their best tips on how to best navigate your remote work during this time.
Nytro Marketing is going on five years of existing as a fully digital, fully global Marketing & Events agency. Our team spans roughly 10 time zones and every single one of our Nytronians works from home 100% of the time. We understand that these circumstances are slightly different because this is not necessarily an elective situation, but the truth is that we all need to do our part to flatten the curve of the virus contagion and protect the elderly and immunocompromised in our population. This is all we need to know to figure out how to make it work, and as always, we won’t let you go at it alone. With this in mind, last week we published some ideas that companies can enact for telecommuting to thrive, and now here are some tips we’ve gathered from the team to ensure you can transition into this temporary setting as seamlessly as possible:
- Use calendar blocks to force yourself to focus on specific tasks at a time: if you’ve never organized your daily agenda by blocking your calendar for the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task, this is the perfect time to try this strategy. Just like you do calendar blocks during calls so it 1. Reminds you that you have the meeting and 2. Keeps your coworkers at bay when they see you’re busy with something, calendar blocks can be incredibly helpful boundaries that will help you keep yourself accountable while you work alone. This is also a great tool for time-recording and a good future reference to estimate time spent on projects.
- Change up your settings: waking up, grabbing your computer and starting to work right away in your PJs and on your bed is the worst thing you can do. Your bed is meant for sleeping only, and your posture will be affected. Get up and change into an outfit that makes you feel comfortable but also active. Put on a pair of shoes (this seems to alert your brain that it’s go-time!). Pick a spot in your home that becomes your new work area and dedicate it exclusively to that. This will help you get used to the “tasks” corresponding to that specific space, and it will become easier every day to slip into work mode.
- Remain active: not being able to go to the gym is not an excuse to let your healthy habits go astray. While you may live near a park and it might be ok for you to go out for a walk or run, we know this isn’t everyone’s situation. But as with everything in life, “there’s an app for that!” If there’s a silver lining coming out of this coronavirus outbreak, is that many businesses are tossing their rulebooks out the window and bringing down their paywalls. Opportunities to stay fit that you can take advantage of include:
This Hollywood Personal Traineris offering free live workouts every day at 8:00am PST live on his Instagram that you can do from your home.
Peloton has increased their free trial period for their app to 90 days, offering Yoga, strength-training workouts, and other options you can do without their equipment.
Dancer and new mom Chachi Gonzales is livestreaming free dance classes via her Instagram every day at 12:00pm PST this week.
Zumba is temporarily allowing their instructors to host online classes! Look through instructor pages on social media and check to see if they’re offering an online class at a time you can join.
- Don’t forget your work-life balance: balancing your life and work is tricky as it is, and even more when you’re home all day. You need to set hard boundaries for yourself to work within the same time frame you would use at the office, allow for a healthy lunch break where you can disconnect, and implement time limits where you’re focused on one specific thing. It’s helpful to work on tasks for 40-45 minutes at a time, get up and take a five-minute break to keep hydrated, look out the window, check on your pets, or call a family member or a friend to check on them. These mini breaks are healthy and will help you improve your focus on work while it matters.
- Use video call with your coworkers: ok, we’ll admit it, we don’t do this one a lot, but that’s because we’re kind of naturally used to the social distancing already and we don’t get cabin fever as most other people do. So, to help you feel like you’re still connected and force you to change out of your pajamas, we highly recommend you do your calls with the video on so that you can see your coworkers and don’t feel so estranged from your routine. Even if you decide video calls are not for you because you're not in the mood to make yourself look "presentable," make sure you stay connected in any way you can, as much as you can!
Lastly: know thyself. If you like smells and you're triggered in positive ways by nice aromas, then surround yourself with pleasant candles or turn on your humidifier with your favorite scent. If you don't work well in crammed areas, organize your work space to feel open and clear. Whatever it takes for you to be inspired to work and remain calm indoors, do it!
There are many tips out there that have been shared especially for those of you working from home with little ones, or trying to prevent your kids from stagnating too much on their school subjects, so make sure you do some research and find the resources that will make this time easier for you! Also, if you have any other tips, please feel free to include them in the comments below.