We asked professionals the following question via LinkedIn:
What are some best practices that are helpful when working from home?
Some of the responses appeared in the May issue of Strategies & Tactics, but we weren’t able to print them all, due to space constraints. There were so many great responses, we wanted to share them here.
Here’s what PRSA’s LinkedIn community had to say:
Learning! — Cinthia Flores
Schedule out your calendar more rigidly to provide structure and breaks for yourself throughout the day! — Victoria Leigh Julien
Get up, shower and get dressed. This makes you feel refreshed. Get out of bed or risk sleeping more than you work. — SGS Consultancy Jamaica
List specific tasks instead of a to-do list! Example: respond to Michael’s email vs. catch up on emails. — E. Cristina De La Cruz
At the end of each day, which is a set time so as to eliminate all night email engaging, quickly use pen and paper to evaluate your day: what worked, what didn’t, what you’ll do differently. Look at this in terms of not how busy you were, but how effective and in control you felt, and what type of energy you brought to each aspect of your day. Then pick one thing to implement for the next day and one thing to eliminate. Finally, be patient — you’re teaching your brain to work in a different way for an undetermined amount of time. Think of this as a great opportunity for adaptation to scale up to thriving rather than just surviving. — Kelly Campana
Take regular breaks, stay hydrated and get outside when the weather is nice to clear your mind during a lunch break. Be flexible and give more patience to loved ones. — Ryan R. Johnson, APR
I work remotely 100 percent of the time, but this pandemic has changed my perspective as I’m now home with a middle schooler who needs to do school work too. My tips for normal work from home would be start early, keep a schedule, get dressed every day and take breaks to get fresh air. My current take is to be easy on yourself because this working from home is different than normal working from home. It’s super important right now to remember self care and if that means wearing PJs or yoga pants and not sticking to a schedule, then that is perfectly fine! — Amy Hibbard
Coordinate schedules with your significant other, especially if you have kids. Also, as others have said, make sure that you are taking care of your mental health by working out, going for walks and taking breaks. — Randy Ksar
I’ve been doing more to-do list making than ever! I have even started doing a habit tracker so that I don’t have to put everyday tasks (such as working out) on my to-do list. Keeping a daily/weekly to-do list sheet has really helped me stay focused. — Abigail Ellis
I transitioned into full-time work from home in February and some of the things that are working best for me are: Having a morning routine that includes dressing for my day (no PJs!), having a dedicated work space, checking in with my team on non-work topics and getting out of my chair periodically. — Rachel Kerstetter
Feelings of isolation can take over when you are absorbed in crisis and corporate communications work day after day. Give yourself and others permission to be human. Be the one who really listens to what’s being said/shown on Zoom calls. And, hey, host a virtual happy hour! — Kelley Tucky, M.Ed.
I’ve been working from home since hanging my own shingle in 2007. A few things that help with WFH productivity include having a door to the office. When the door is closed, it’s a signal to my husband and child that I’m working and not to be disturbed; when it’s open, c’mon in. Make sure you take stretch breaks and a lunch break — we all know how it can be when we’re in the thick of things and 3 p.m. rolls around and we realize “lunchtime” was three hours ago. Finally, just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean we need to be isolated — connect with colleagues via phone, email, Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, and talk about things other than work. — Carla Brown Lucas
Set and keep a schedule, and respect your own time as you would anyone else’s in an office setting. — David Alvarado
I had an office in my home for 24 years. Establish a routine. Get dressed. Let those in your house know that when you’re in your office, you are working. When your office door is closed, issue a “do not disturb” edict — unless someone is bleeding. When your commute is a flight of stairs, you have to shift gears quickly. Take a deep breathe at the end of your workday and get ready for the rest of your day. — Lisa Balschunat
The most challenging part of working from home is recognizing that productivity now looks a bit different for me. I combat this by changing my schedule to reflect the stay-at-home order. I’ve also noticed the little things that increase my productivity like working on my porch or getting dressed in clothes other than PJs. — Thema Mwandani
Photo by Andrew Neel
This is a fantastic collection of tips. I am constantly looking for ways to switch things up while working from home. It can be tough, but I am hoping to even take these tips with me once we are back to “normal” interactions!
-Allie Rose, writer/editor for Platform Magazine