Written By: Kelsey Chernak, Marketing Coordinator
I love my job. No, really. I love my job.
Having the opportunity to walk into an office space filled with genuinely great people, who care about making a positive change in people's wellness is nothing I take for granted. It's the little things that make me smile every day, like waving good morning to my co-workers or the smell of coffee floating throughout the building.
Little did I know that in a blink of an eye, the everyday concept of going into work would be uprooted. Like millions of other Americans, I am working from home to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. Being young in my career, I've never experienced having a workday… not at work.
My first thought? This is a little strange, but I don't mind getting cozy in my favorite Sockwell socks and getting work done from the comfort of my home.
My day 3 thought? I really miss the routine of going into the office and having face-to-face conversations with my co-workers.
However, I know the safest option for me, healthcare professionals, and the livelihood of America is to work from home until we can flatten the curve and it is safe to return to the office. Although the circumstances are extremely bizarre, it's important for me and everyone else experiencing the work from home life to be productive team members.
After settling into my new normal, I've found the following 6 tips to help me be efficient while working from home:
1) Make to-do lists
One of the first things I do to get my day started is pour a cup of coffee. Trust me. It's better for everyone if I have a little caffeine first.
While I am sipping on a hot brew, I make a to-do list of all the projects and *virtual* meetings that are a priority for the day. There's something about a physical checklist that keeps me on track, making sure I don't miss any tasks. I mean you wouldn't leave the grocery store without an item you wrote down on your list, right? Okay, maybe toilet paper but that's beside the point. Writing down a to-do list will keep your day organized and efficient.
2) Define your work hours
Sometimes it can be difficult to separate work and life, especially when they are both happening in the same place. Defining your work hours to mimic regular office hours can help put yourself into a work mode. Then, taking your normal lunch break to step away from your computer screen can also make a big difference in efficiency.
At the end of the day when your work hours are over, make sure you log off and stop working too. Keeping your personal wellbeing a priority is only going to help the longevity of your productivity away from the office.
3) Have a dedicated workspace
Just as defined hours are important to productivity, so is having a space dedicated to your workday. I find it helpful not to work on the living room couch or in my bedroom, making those areas dedicated to breaks and end-of-day relaxation. If you are lucky enough to have a home office, use it to your advantage. As for me, I work from my kitchen table. It provides me room to spread out some papers, type on my computer, and an easy path to an afternoon cup of coffee.
4) Exercise and move throughout the day
Whether you're in your typical office space or working from home, it is important to carve out time for your own personal wellness. Prolonged sitting or standing can cause aches and pain.
Taking a moment for a quick walk outside in fresh air can help renew thoughts and provide an energized mood to finish the workday. I also find it helpful to create intervals throughout my day to simply stand up and stretch my arms and legs. This article is a great resource for desk exercises (or what I like to call deskercises).
5) Wear graduated compression socks
In addition to stretching and moving periodically throughout the day, I turn to my favorite Sockwell Lifestyle Compression socks to reduce fatigue and swelling from sitting and/or standing at a desk for an extended period of time. The compression and the blend of merino wool/bamboo adds so much comfort throughout my workdays. The benefits of compression socks make me feel more energized and less achy throughout the day, allowing me to be more focused and efficient (and more likely to go on that post-work jog).
6) Don't be too hard on yourself
We're in a pandemic crisis right now. No one could have guessed your new normal work life would be like this. With the extra time at home, I know it feels like I have to get so many things done because now "I have the time." Scrolling through social media, you see all sorts of people posting about using this time to lose weight or learn how to bake or take up a new hobby. The truth is staying safe, staying healthy, and helping to keep the millions of people around you safe is good enough. It is enough.