More and more companies are having employees work from home to help slow the spread of coronavirus. If you find yourself among those trying to figure out how to work from home, I can help.
I’ve been a freelance writer for 15 years, setting up first in the small corner of an apartment and then moving into space with a dedicated office where I could shut the door.
I love it, but I know it’s not an easy transition, especially if it’s not one you’ve been planning for. Here are some tips on how to make the best of it until you start commuting again.
Keep the Same Schedule
Start out by sticking to the same schedule as when you went into an office. “Try to get up at the same time, and do all the things you would typically do to get ready for work,” said William Castellano, professor in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. “Make sure you’re thinking about how you’re going to structure your day similarly” to how you did before. So if you made a to-do list every morning, make the to-do list. If you checked in with the same person every morning, check in with that person.
Of course, your work day can’t possibly be the same, and while I admit I initially laughed at a Google employee who asked about how to get morning coffee, his experience is not unusual: Your routine will change, and you will need time to figure out how to accommodate those changes, like making coffee at home if you’re used to picking it up on the way to work.
As for what to wear in your home office, I am squarely in the “be comfortable” camp, though Barbara Pachter, author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette” and a longtime work-from-homer, said that in the beginning, you should get dressed as if you were going into an office. It will help in giving some structure to your day, and you can change your home dress code later, as you adjust to your new working arrangement.