Staying Productive and Sane While Working from Home

Helpful Tips

By Hannah Summers

April 14, 2020

Like many of you, the Impact team is settling into our fourth week of working from home. We feel fortunate to be able to work remotely, and while our days may differ, we are all trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and be as productive as possible during this challenging time.

Here are some ways our team is adjusting to working from home. We hope the following tips can also help you and your team adjust to the “new normal.”

  1. Overcommunicate.

When you’re not in the office every day, it’s harder to know what’s going on in your colleagues’ lives. It’s extremely important to maintain consistent meetings to check-in with each other throughout the week. As things come up and circumstances change, make sure you let your colleagues know when you have more than you anticipated on your plate. If you find you have extra bandwidth on a given day, ask your team if there’s anything you can do to help. And don’t forget to block time on your calendar when it’s your turn to be the homeschool teacher.

  1. Don’t be afraid to be human.

Many of us live with family members or roommates who are also working from home, children home from school, or pets. It’s important to minimize distractions while you’re working, but don’t panic if you get interrupted by your child or pet while on a video or phone call. These circumstances are new to everyone, and folks are mostly understanding. Try not to stress about maintaining a perfect meeting environment. In fact, an interruption from your dog on a video call could be a good way to lighten the mood and get to know your colleagues better!

  1. Embrace the dreaded video calls.

Face-to-face meetings are incredibly important as we strive to maintain as normal of a routine as possible. If there’s a meeting you would have in-person, make it a video conference call. Human interaction is important for productivity, clear communication, and positive mental health. The Impact team holds our weekly staff meeting over video so we can see and talk to each other as we normally would. We are also enjoying weekly virtual team lunches and happy hours to stay connected to one another—and get competitive at Zoom Pictionary!

  1. Make sure to leave the “office.”

When there’s minimal distance between your home and your “office,” it can become even more difficult to maintain a work-life balance. It’s easy to lose track of time and work past 5 PM or after dinner because your kitchen table also serves as your desk. Setting boundaries right now is important. When you’re spending more time on the couch watching tv or reading, it can be easy to bring out your computer to do something “productive” for work. But separating your work and your personal time is imperative to avoid burnout as we navigate this new normal.

What challenges are you facing while working from home? Do you have any tips to share about how to make this strange time go smoother?

-By Hannah Summers


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