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While there are many companies that have been forced to lay off dozens of employees because of COVID-19, others have found a way to make it possible to continue operations through remote employment. Thousands of people have been out of the traditional office placed inside the comfort of their home, while still expected to keep up morale and productivity. Not that going to work in your pajamas isn’t appealing or that getting an extra half hour of sleep since you don’t have to avoid traffic isn’t a huge benefit of remote employment, but it is a serious adjustment that can take some getting used to. If you want to get more out of your workday, whether you are sitting at the dining room table or perched on the couch, here are some clever tips to having more fun while getting things done.
Use an App for Meetings
There are many companies using Zoom for conference calls and team meetings, but Slack also offers many benefits for the work-from-home employee. Slack has already been a popular choice for text-based communication, but the software also allows users to move from a chat to a video call. The chat remains open, making it easy to take notes on what’s being discussed. In fact, the screen has a share function that makes it possible for everyone on the call to make notes or ask questions during the meeting, which helps reduce miscommunication.
Create an Office Feel
The first few days of working at home might have your routine thrown for a loop, but by getting back into one, you can enjoy your workday more. When things are chaotic and you are shuffling from place to place looking for your work items, you lose a lot of time. This can get frustrating. Mentally, setting up an office “feel” can you get in the groove with your work. Even if your home is crowded and space is limited, establish a dedicated workspace and keep everything organized. You can express yourself in this area, put things around or in the space that motivate and excite you. Set up next to the coffee pot or right by the back window. Whatever space tickles your fancy but without being too distracting is a great way to get motivated about heading over to work in the morning.
If your company has an informal approach to the workday and virtual meetings, take advantage of software opportunities to let your personality shine through. Your living room may not be the neatest after your children get through with playtime, but Zoom meetings offer the option to change your camera angle to a virtual background. You could upload your own images or you could set it to the outer space view. Snapchat has a desktop app called SnapCamera, which puts the Snapchat Lenses from the mobile app on the computer's webcam. It might not be a productive look to show up as an alien, but it makes your video calls much more enjoyable.
Be Ready to Stop
It is easy to put more time in a home than you do the office, but this can create undue stress on your mind and body and destroy your anti-aging strategy. You can motivate yourself to work for time increments and then reward yourself by walking the dog or watering the plants. Take a break on the hour to listen to your favorite song and have a solo dance party. Find a trigger that will pull you back to reality and away from the computer screen. This can keep work fun, even when it seems like you are on your own.
Have Theme Days
You may not have the camaraderie of all your team members or coworkers around, but you may have family members in the home. Much like a school would have spirit week, create a theme week for your home. This is a great tool for those with kids in the house. Have sock day, crazy matching day, or backward day to get the family involved with making work more fun. It is hard to work with small children in the house, as they can be distracting, loud, or cranky. Finding creative ways to pass the workdays until you can spend time with your family is one way to make things a little more lively.
Keep Good Snacks
If you can handle the temptation, stocking up on a few of your favorite snacks could be a way to reward your remote work efforts. Emotional eating can be detrimental to your weight management, but a sweet snack on a long, slow day at work could be a quick pick-me-up.
It might seem that the days are dragging into weeks and the weeks into months, but this pandemic won’t last forever. You can pass the time more quickly with a productive but enjoyable workday.
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