Working From Home Tips and Tricks

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard.

With the current pandemic forcing SPC students, staff and faculty to suddenly study and work from home, adjusting to the new normal can be a little difficult. Here are some suggestions to help ease that transition.

Set up a separate office space

You will be working or study from home for at least the next six weeks, so take some time to organize and pay attention to comfort. It’s best to have a dedicated working space separate from where you typically do other activities like relaxing or eating.

Stick to a morning routine

It can be tempting to stay in your PJs all day and believe me, I have lived in them, but you will feel more put together if you take the time to get dressed in the morning. Give yourself time to prepare for the day; make a cup of tea or coffee, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, etc.

Keeping your usual routine will mentally and physically prepare you for the day, and create a little stability in this tumultuous time.

Schedule breaks and stick to them

Creating structure for your day will help your mind wander less, so create a schedule for yourself and follow it (as much as possible). Take your breaks in their entirety and avoid doing anything work-related during this time.

Get outside!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of your yard, balcony, open windows, etc. and get a breath of fresh air. Take your dog for a walk. Take your cat for a walk. Take your iguana for a walk. Take yourself for a walk. Say hello to your neighbors (from 6 feet away) and let them know they are not alone.

Communication is key

Have a question? Hit a milestone on a project you’re working on? Receive some good news? Pick up the phone, send an IM, or email for anything large or small. Remember to communicate your changing needs as our normal lives become more and more disrupted.

Connect with your fellow students or coworkers

We’ll be missing those lunchtime chats soon enough, so take time to foster your relationships from afar. Check-in on each other. Commiserate. Joke. Send cat pictures. Lessen the social distancing while you’re physical distancing.

Turn on the tunes

Background music, white noise, audiobooks… These can all help to create an insulated atmosphere and foster focus, especially if your family is self-isolating, too.

Set house rules

Routines have been turned upside down, so sit down with your household and talk about each of your needs in this new environment. Set ground rules like keeping the volume low while you are working or spaces that are off-limits, whatever you need to keep everyone on the same page and your workday productive.

Take care of yourself

Hydrate. Stretch. Wash your hands. Keep exercising, meditating, and doing anything you normally do for your own well-being. Talk to others about your fears, your hopes, and your needs. Don’t forget to breathe!

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