GUEST COLUMN: Tips for working from home

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MEEKER | Many employees may suddenly find they are expected to work from home and based on more than 30 years of doing this, I offer some tips.

Maintain Your Routine

To the extent possible, stick with your established schedule. If you normally start work at 8 a.m., keep doing that. If your lunch break includes a walk, keep doing that. Maintaining self-discipline about work hours will make you more comfortable and productive.

Create a Workspace

Devote even a small space that is where you work. If it is a shared space with your kitchen table, set up portable files, work resources, etc. that you can move in and out. Do your best to preserve your home space and segment a work area.

Preserve Your Back

Use a decent office chair, one that can be height adjusted to the surface you are working on otherwise you will quickly have backaches. Possibly borrow your office chair, since it is likely just sitting there unused.

Monitor screen time

Just like our kids, it is important that adults use screen time thoughtfully since we’re now all living virtually. Don’t wear out your eyes or your fingers. Take breaks from the screen frequently and turn it off when you sleep.

Create Privacy When Needed

Explain to your loved ones at home when you need to be on a conference call or listen to a video conference, perhaps with door closed. Teach your children that when mommy is working, new house rules apply. It’s a strangely great educational time for children to learn what “work” really means.

Take Breaks

Finding the right balance between work productivity and healthful practices is always hard. Be responsible but don’t become a slave to your work or you will burn out quickly. Stand up often. This pandemic may be with us for a while, so prepare yourself for the long haul by remaining healthy.

Clean Your Workspace

Your new cleaning person is you. Regularly clean worktop surfaces, phones, monitors, etc. Remember to practice good hygiene in this new aspect of your life too.

Alert Employers and Customers to Your Limitations

You will likely find your home laptop or home internet connection do not have the same capabilities of workplace resources. If you can’t receive large files, don’t know how to use Dropbox or whatever software, speak up.

Au Courage!

We will all be finding work arounds to survive working at home and staying connected with each other. None of us can do this overnight. You will learn and become a skilled, mobile worker. Good luck.

Kaye Sullivan | Special to the Herald Times