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How to Work from Home During a Quarantine

Or "How to Succeed in Pajamas Without Really Trying."

Also, that is a stock photo and not my actual legs.

As someone who’s worked from for almost ten years, I feel pretty fortunate that my job is “pandemic friendly.” I know not everybody is used to working from home as many people seem to be doing that over the next few weeks, I thought I would share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the years.

-Establish your work space and keep that your work space, exclusively. If you have a desk at home, use it. The kitchen/dining room table is your next best option. I work from the couch because I have a job that tolerates occasional TV-related distractions. If you your job requires concentration and staying on task for extended amounts of time, stick to the most desk-like structure possible.

-PS, Don’t work from your bed, as tempting as those warm covers are, because that can really mess with your sleep schedule.

-Unless your employer has granted some sort of scheduling leniency, try to stick with your daily routine as much as possible. Get up and have breakfast at your usual time. Get dressed (though obviously, you can dress a lot more casually than a strict office dress code requires. Bye-bye, panty hose!). Get in that “work time” mind set.

-Be sure to enjoy the leisurely one-minute commute! No fighting for a seat on the bus! No subway spreaders! No annoying drivers who enjoy texting instead of steering!

-Stay off the internet unless it’s a work required search/function. The internet is a productivity killer.

-Ban yourself from social media during work hours. It’s also a huge time suck. The last thing your boss wants to see is your photo on Instagram wearing a penguin onesie with Netflix playing in the background.

-Penguin onesies are amazing, and if you have the opportunity to do paid work while wearing one, you totally should.

-Create a task list and prioritize by importance. Print out said list and hang it somewhere in your direct eye line to remind you of what need to be doing when Netflix’s siren call slithers into your ear.

-Remember that when you have a video teleconference, you only have to dress professionally from the waist-up.

-If you’re only dressed professionally from the waist-up, DO NOT STAND UP in front of your web cam during your meeting. Either way, I do not advise wearing the penguin onesie.

-I mean, it would be funny. But again, your boss doesn’t want to see that.

-Learn to gauge the true importance calls and emails. If you wouldn’t jump to answer a coworker’s email as soon as you received it in the office, you don’t have to do it while working from home, just because you happen to be at home. The decision to allow employees to work from home was made to protect you and your coworkers. You don’t have to prove that you deserve to stay home.

-Take breaks, within reason. Protect those breaks, within reason. You don’t have to interrupt your lunch break to answer calls unless it’s a truly urgent situation. You know your job. You know what’s urgent. If you wouldn’t do that at the office, don’t do it at home.

-When your work day is over, put your work aside. Your partner/family/pets deserve your attention, too. You deserve rest and down time.

The next couple of weeks are going to be weird and we’ll get through them if we use common sense and try to help each other out as much as we can while maintaining “social distance.” Good luck to all of us.

I will post a whole ‘nother blog post this week about how to keep your kids entertained while under quarantine.

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