By: Stephanie Hayman, Marketing Manager at Global Payments Integrated
Working from home was (or still is) a pipe dream for some employees. Some may have been lucky enough, like myself, to have a taste of it incorporated into my daily life. Whether you are a WFH pro who thrives in this kind of environment or a remote rookie, this work lifestyle has become the wide majority of our business population’s new normal – as of the past few days that is.
Personally, I love working from home. No exaggeration, I feel like I am the best version of myself – I can multitask and throw a load of laundry in between calls; I can prep dinner early in the morning before signing on; I don’t have to waste time sitting in disastrous Long Island traffic on the way to the office. I feel way more productive and balanced as a human being.
All of that being said, this is a new and unprecedented time for all of us, both industrially and personally, and the key to keeping production at a level of normalcy requires the agility and adjustment to our “new” everyday lives. Even with my prior experience working from home, the past few days have brought about new challenges. Here is what I have learned [over the past three days] to put into practice thus far:
Morning Routine is Key.
My entire morning routine revolves around going to the gym – something that I cannot currently do. So, instead of setting my alarm at the usual 5:30am, I am letting my body rest until 7am (that’s a perk!). From there, I’m making it my business to work out – albeit, in my basement. I have limited equipment, but I’ve been using the Fitbod App, which provides data-driven workouts based on your goals and body type. I know many gyms are also offering virtual classes for free. Getting a good 45-minute sweat in is really helping stabilize my day, allowing me to get my act together.
Make breakfast. Make coffee. Get dressed. My first day at home, I sat around in my workout outfit all day. I didn’t shower until 6pm. I had a HUGE case of the blahs. Take a shower, throw on normal clothes (total aside, power to anyone who can WFH in jeans) and pretend you are legitimately going to the office. The first few hours of the day set the precedent.
From 2014-2018, my fiancé and I worked together, commuted together, and for the latter two years, lived together. And yet, the past three days we have been WFH together, we have been driving each other insane. If you are in a similar situation and only have one office, try implementing an “A day/B day” schedule. Remember in middle school when you had Band on A days during First Period and Gym on B days? That’s how he and I are managing our home office rotation. Sounds ridiculous, but it’s working. And when one of us is rooted in the home office with the nice setup, the other is relegated to the kitchen table. If you are kitchen-tabled, I recommend putting a plant on the table and lighting a candle – it will provide for a more comfortable and focused vibe. Beware of sitting on the couch! Also, I have a newfound appreciation for my headphones, since both of us are on calls for the wide majority of the day.
Do Not Work 24/7.
When I worked from home on a normal day, I’d typically sign on around 7:30am after I got home from the gym. I worked a little, would shower, and would go back on until 8:30am. From there, I would likely not take a lunch break and work the entire day, right up until 5:45ish.
Don’t do this! It’s really easy to fall into the trap of being a slave in this situation, constantly feeling like you need to be glued to your email or laptop. I’m making a point of signing on close to 9am, taking a 30-60 minute break mid-day, and signing off no later than 6pm to retain my own sanity.
I don’t know about many of you, but having total, unabashed access to my kitchen cabinets while at home is a real slippery slope for me. It’s become important for me to really plan out my meals throughout the day, more than ever. Otherwise, I’ll be randomly binging on Cool Ranch Doritos at 2pm – something I would never do if I were at the office.
On Day 1, to try and lift our spirits, I made some really luscious peanut butter-filled cookies that my fiancé and I snacked on that night and throughout the next day. For me, if that’s cyclically repeated, it’s a recipe for disaster and a new version of myself that is 10 pounds heavier.
Now is a great time to think about things you want to do for yourself. Take your lunch break and put some of these into action, and it may give your daily work/life schedule some sense of structure as opposed to become a Netflix magnet. Personally, this is what I’m trying for:
*FaceTime my grandparents once per day
*My cousins, friends and I are implementing ‘hang outs’ where we FaceTime and pretend we’re actually seeing each other in person
*Pick up my clarinet and flute, both of which I haven’t really played since I was in college
*Get back into running outside; try running at least two miles a day, 3x per week, before or after the work day
*Walk my dog once a day
*Write multiple times per week
BAU has a brand new definition for all of us now, and we will need to go easy on ourselves, care for ourselves, and take this newness day by day. Change is constant, but the one thing that we do have control of is our at-home behavior and outlook.