By Asa Posner
Senior Sustainability Manager
LEED AP BD+C, O+M
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
- Treat your schedule the same way you would as if you were in the office. Up on-time, breakfast/coffee, etc. Treat your “commute” as a way to get organized for the day and use the “extra” time to your advantage. Work out/yoga/meditation, breakfast, walk the dog, etc.
- Block out your schedule for the day/week. Plan specific time for answering e-mails (i.e. morning), phone calls (i.e. midday), or working on more intensive projects (i.e. afternoon).
- Try to stick to a normal work schedule (either typical 9-5 or flexible hours, but try to develop a routine and stick to it).
- Include breaks throughout the day. In an office, you inherently take breaks to get coffee, grab lunch with coworkers, or general “water cooler” chat. When working from home, make sure you include those breaks as a “mental” break – watch a 5-minute YouTube video, read a news article, play your guitar for 5 minutes. These help to break up the day.
- If working in a different time zone from your remote colleagues, keep time zones in mind and always reference those when scheduling meetings to avoid confusion. For example, “How about 11am EST (10am CST)?”
- Set the end of your work day. At the end of the day (or over the weekend), turn your computer off, clean up your desk, and close your to-do list. It’s easy to just keep on working when you’re the only one there, so set a schedule and try to stick to it.
- Try to allocate a consistent, private, dedicated work space. Desk in living room/bedroom works, but separate room dedicated to office space is best. This also helps you to “log off” at the end of the day and use this space as only the “office”.
- Prepare your workspace just like you were in the office. Desk, multiple monitors, stand-up desk, lamp, file folders, pens, sticky notes, note pad, dry erase board, etc.
- If possible, invest in reliable technology as you may not have easy access to IT when you work remotely. Dual monitor setup, keyboard/mouse, stand-up desk, printer, phone charger, headphones/microphone, webcam, etc.
- Give yourself access to daylight or a view, if possible. Working in a dark, secluded basement corner isn’t conducive to quality work.
- Overcommunicate. Schedule more quick “check-in” type meetings with colleagues. Recommend weekly check-ins. Keep regular intra-office messaging (Slack, etc.) up all day since colleagues are no longer just a desk/cubicle/office away.
- Use video chats. They require you to be more “present” in a meeting (similar to an in-person meeting) rather than working on something else behind the scenes.
- Try to wear “work clothes” or casual clothes and not pajamas. It’s easy to get lazy when working from home, but getting dressed and preparing to “be at work” helps you to be in the right frame of mind.
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