• Jenny Bakos

Proven Tips on How to Work From Home Effectively From Our Team

Originally published on How Novel Communications' Blog

Our team is spread out across the country: California, Portland, South Carolina - with many of us successfully working remotely this past year. With COVID-19, we’ve all had to adapt to shifts in our personal and professional environments. Given recent conversations amongst ourselves and our clients, we thought we’d share our proven tips for how to work from home effectively. 

Start Your Day With a Magic Hour From 7:00-8:00 AM, my Google Calendar says “Magic Hour”. This is a daily, recurring meeting with myself to make coffee, stretch, watch TikTok videos, catch up on the news, and sift through emails. This hour acts as my ‘me’ time to quickly cross off easy action items and set my intentions for the day. I’ve found that starting off the day with an hour for myself gives me something to look forward to in the morning, and helps me to best ease into my schedule.

Experiment With Time Blocking If you haven’t discovered the joys of time blocking yet, then buckle up! It’s a game-changer. I used to structure my Google Calendar based solely on meetings. Now, I use my Google Calendar to plan things like: doctor appointments, workouts, calls with friends, brainstorming sessions, writing blog posts, replying to emails, etc. Time blocking helps you literally build out your days so there’s a healthy mix of work and play. Plus, it’s a great strategy for ensuring you cross off to-do list items from your bigger goals rather than getting lost in your day-to-day shuffle.

Invest in Your Space To work remotely effectively, you need to invest in yourself. You won’t be motivated to work unless you have a dedicated space that you’re excited to show up to. Invest in tech like a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses (SOJOS and Felix Gray make some of my favorites), a second monitor, quality microphone, nice coffee mugs, noise-canceling headphones, standing desk, or comfy chair. Putting your best work forward is a mix of 1) being in a space that inspires you and 2) having the right tools to get the job done well. 

Embrace Your Surroundings Working from home has many advantages compared to showing up for a traditional 9-5. At home, you have access to your TV, yoga mat, bed, comfy sweatpants, and full kitchen - embrace them! If your body is craving a nap, or you want to test out a new recipe for lunch then go for it. There’s no shame in taking a break to catch up on your favorite Netflix show or get in a good workout - they’re some of the perks of being at home. Your environment is what you make of it, so you may as well do whatever is going to make your workday the best, and most productive for you.

Be Gentle With Yourself One of the biggest kindnesses you can offer is simply being gentle with yourself. Working from home is an adjustment, just like any major life change. Nobody is expecting you to have it all figured out right off the bat, and you should especially avoid putting that pressure on yourself. Just like when you learned the ropes of your office job, you’ll have to do so with this new set-up. So, find what works for you! For me, I follow all of the above steps with cookie baking, face-masks-during-phone-calls, and impromptu yoga classes sprinkled in. And on days when I’m feeling beat, I have no shame in calling it quits early and proclaiming an early happy hour.  😉

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