10 good habits for working from home

I hope as you read this, you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As many of us enter another week of working from home, cabin fever is likely setting in, if it hasn’t already. You may find yourself struggling to keep spirits and energy up while in quarantine. Lack of sunlight, fresh air and social interaction impact our psyche. For those of us not previously acclimated to working in the same space we live, discovering how to divide and use our space to the best of our ability is vital to both our productivity and mental health.

In my recent weekly managing partner message to Withum, I shared a list of 10 tips I am personally practicing to keep myself motivated and energized. I’d like to share it with you with the hopes it may help.

1. Consistency
Create a routine and stick to it, particularly during the workweek. You want to be able to differentiate a Wednesday from a Saturday.
2. Keep up appearances
Get dressed every day. Get out of those pajama bottoms and throw on some jeans and perhaps a pullover from your firm.
3. Small steps
Make your bed. Starting your day with even this one small accomplishment is proven to set the tone for a productive day.
4. Keep others informed
Communicate your workload and availability with partners, managers and schedulers. Your proactive outreach is appreciated.
5. Seek help fast
If you are stuck on a problem, speak immediately to another engagement team member to get it resolved quickly. Don’t let it languish.
6. Stay in touch
Be sure to connect daily with another team member, preferably through Microsoft Teams or Zoom, with the camera on to maximize social interaction. We all need it.
7. Be early
When attending scheduled virtual meetings, “arrive” three to five minutes early. (Let’s face it, there’s no traffic to deal with or meeting rooms to get to.)
8. Overcommunicate
We don’t see each other around the office, so let others know what you are doing to stay busy, so there is no misinterpretation that you might not be doing anything (see No. 4).
9. Break it up
Be sure to take a break at some point during the workday. Have lunch with your family or friends. If the weather permits, go out and take a walk or bike ride (while practicing social distancing, of course). Spring is not canceled! Taking a little breather is a great way to re-energize and finish the day strong.
10. Attitude matters
Finally, and most importantly, stay positive and optimistic. This too shall pass. Utilizing these tips will put you in a position to make the most out of your time working while social distancing. No two home offices are alike, so find what works for you to create your own quarantine normalcy. Trial and error is key, so remember to practice patience.

I wish you and everyone in your firms the best of health and peace of mind as we get through this unprecedented time together.