Working From Home? Expert Tips for Success

NBC Universal, Inc.

The coronavirus is prompting many of us to making some big changes, including working from home. If you have never worked remotely before, you are likely realizing it can be quite an adjustment.

Lon Seidman has been working from home in Ivoryton for three years now. He reviews technology products on YouTube using virtual communication tools and video conferencing in his own basement studio. It has become second nature to him but not to the rest of us - at least not yet.

“For me, the single best thing that I did was set up a dedicated workspace,” said Seidman. “Psychologically, there’s a separation between my work and my living space. There are things that you can do, even within your existing space, to just cordon off a portion of your home that’s going to be dedicated to do your work in.”

Seidman said that everyone in the house is going to have to play a new role in this new reality.

“I think what’s going to help is that setting down those ground rules, holding people to those rules to say ‘look, we set these rules and we have to follow them’,” Seidman said. “So, there is some rigidity in initially getting that started.”

The role of a variety of technologies is very important at this moment, said Seidman.

“They’re absolutely critical. Think about what our economy would look like if we didn’t have the ability to do some work right now,” he said.

“It really feels weird initially, but I think once you get down to the routine, it’s going to start feeling a lot better,” said Seidman.

Working From Home Tips

Seidman provided these tips for others to become more successful as they start to work remotely.

-- Set up a dedicated work space. Even if you're tight on space having a spot dedicated only to work will help create some psychological separation between your work and home environments. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate - a table in the corner of a room might be enough.

-- Set some rules for yourself so that you're not entertaining yourself or relaxing in that spot. Also make sure any work you do is done in that spot only. With this initial discipline you'll be surprised how your brain will focus better on work activities when you're in the work spot.

-- If you have kids, finding a more remote place in the house to put your work spot might be best.

-- Develop a morning and evening routine similar to your normal work habits. Wake up at the same time you usually do. Also, take a shower and get dressed.

-- Try to keep regular working hours. It helps to set a "hard out" time for ending the day. Often it's easy to just keep working because there's no commute but you really need to stop at around the same time you usually do and switch out of work mode. If you're a manager, respect that time of your employees and really ask yourself if it's necessary to call after working hours on an issue that can wait until the morning.

-- Take breaks similar to your schedules at your current job. Use that time to get outside for a walk or just some fresh air.

-- Keep snacks and food away from your work spot. Snacks in your work spot will take you out of the zone and impact health.

-- Many of us thrive on the social relationships we have with co-workers and this is the hardest part adjusting to telecommuting. Connect on video conferencing tools to have face-to-face interactions.

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