When this all started, I already had my home office set up and would work from home a day or two a week when needed. I had the idea that I would have no issue switching from the office to working from home, I was wrong…
The first week was ok, I worked pretty regular hours and got my task done, I didn’t set any routine, but I just got up worked and did my “normal” office day from home, except I didn’t have my habit of getting ready in the morning. In the second week, I started much the same as the week before, but this is when I began to feel a bit lonely and set up a few calls with coworkers. I am very social, and part of what brings me joy is helping people at work or feeding them. I did not feel I was doing this much at the time. I saw I was a bit more distracted and felt a bit out of sorts; this is also the week I got a cold.
By the third week, I had read a few of the “work from home” stories of my coworkers and started to add a few things to my days to help me. That was a few weeks ago, and I can now tell you about my routine (because I have one) and how I still find ways to feel I am helping my coworkers.
I start my day at around the same time, I can adjust by 15 mins, but that is all I give my self. I get ready for work; this means I don’t just roll out of bed and open my laptop. I shower, I do my hair, and I put real clothes on, not my PJ or workout clothes. I then do what I would do every day when I get in the office, make my coffee warm up my breakfast, and sit at my desk to start my day. This routine has changed everything about my days. I am more focused and productive. I have a better plan and feel like I am at work.
I do have some significant adjustments about working from home that I love, and some I was not expecting to be a challenge for me. I love the ability to take a walk with my dog or to go to the store at a less busy time and just adjust my day around that. I really enjoy the view of my back yard, and my home office set up. I don’t love my animals not understanding what it means when I tell them I am on a call and I don’t want them in my lap or more accurately in my face, or telling my dog to please pick a quite toy rather than the ball that squeaks loader than any toy I have ever heard.
Lastly, I will tell you the things I do to keep me going. I no longer watch the news every day, I check it a few times a week, but I don’t sit and watch it. I found it causes me more stress and anger, and sometimes I feel less informed than when I started, so I just don’t do it anymore. To help me with the anxiety, I have begun to meditate every day a few times a day for five mins or so; this helps me to reduce stress and lets me see what is the cause of my anxiety so I can address it. A big thing I do is reach out to my coworkers. I set up calls, or I just randomly ask them for a call; it’s no different then me walking up to there desk to chat. This lets me check in to see how they are doing, what they are working on, and also give me a chance to see if I can help with anything which I get to sometimes, and that gives me joy!!! So far, I have not sent anyone food ☹, but I have baked a lot, and my neighbors love me for it!
What I hope you take away from my story: a routine is key to starting your day if you are not used to working from home. Keep it as close to the routine you had when you went into the office. Find what is causing you stress and find ways to minimize it if you can. Take walks and meditate as much as you need. Reach out! Take the time to say Hi to your coworkers and chat with them about life every so ofter to remember you are not alone in this.