by Dr. R. Kay Green | Featured Contributor
During this unprecedented pandemic, many people are working remote for the first time. For some, this can be very difficult to adjust to, especially since it was so unexpected. But having a productive day from a remote office is possible! Here are twenty tips for working through the COVID-19 pandemic while staying safe and protecting your mental health.
- Get dressed in fresh clothes. This does not mean that you have to get fully dressed in the same clothing you would wear into the office. But you should not be wearing the same clothes that you wore into the office, either. At a bare minimum, change into fresh pajamas.
- Keep to a regular schedule. It can be tempting to sleep in and make up the lost hours later in the day. But keeping to a routine can help your mental health in these trying times. Do your best to work at the same time you would during a regular work day.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise keeps your mind sharp, and your mood stable. This is actually one of the benefits of working from home, because you can take a break to exercise whenever is most convenient for you.
- Eat healthy. This is another way to manage stress in these times. Often, we only feel as good as we eat. If you are consuming a lot of junk food, it can lead to lowered mood and motivation to work. Do your best to prepare healthy meals instead.
- Schedule your meals in advance. Since you are working from home, you have your whole kitchen to work with. This is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. You can become paralyzed by choice and wind up falling back on easy but unhealthy options. Planning in advance helps to avoid this.
- Try to limit snacking. There is nothing wrong with snacking. But, again, when your whole kitchen is open to you, it pays to be cautious. Mindless snacking can lead to overeating, which causes fatigue and lack of motivation. Just be mindful of how much you are eating.
- Connect with co-workers regularly. Isolation is poor for your mental health, and isolation from co-workers specifically can be detrimental to teamwork and progress. Make sure you are regularly connecting with coworkers or employees to keep track of each other.
- Keep updated on project status. When everyone is separate, it is easy to lose track of where everyone is on a project. A platform like Asana or Proofhub can help assure that nothing is getting lost in the shuffle.
- Use video conferencing. While it can be tempting to just email or call, a video conference adds a more personal touch. It also helps to encourage team members to get dressed and keep up on their hygiene, which can be easy to forget in stressful times.
- Invest in good technology. There is nothing more frustrating than technological errors when you are trying to work. So if you are going to be remote for any extended period of time, it is important to invest in the best technology possible for your industry.
- Be protective of your work time. Interruptions will want to come up. Chores will need to be done, family will want your attention, and more. While this is not always possible to ignore, try to make work time dedicated to work only.
- Reduce distractions with headphones. If you live with roommates or people who are also trying to navigate quarantine, asking for quiet hours is not always possible. Instead, invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones. Sites like mynoise offer a range of white noise options.
- Have a designated work space. Working from bed is tempting, but is not always the recipe to being as productive as possible. If you have a desk, this is a good time to use it. If not, try working at your kitchen table, using a different seat than the one you eat at. Just do your best to have a separate “work” station to get you in the right mindset.
- Move around. When you work remote, you are missing out on a lot of the usual movement, from walking to a neighbor’s desk for questions to moving for lunch. Do your best to get up and stretch for 5 minutes occasionally.
- Make lists. These are frightening, overwhelming times, and even people who are good at prioritizing might be struggling right now. Getting what you need to do done in writing helps to prioritize and make sure that nothing is getting forgotten.
- Set deadlines when they aren’t available. Sometimes, our response to stress is to procrastinate. And this can be troublesome when a job has no specific deadline. So set one and make sure that you do not just ignore tasks entirely.
- Ask for feedback. Because you aren’t just a cubicle away, people may not as readily offer feedback in these times. Make sure you are doing the best job possible by reaching out to ask for it. This also ties back into keeping connected!
- Be kind to yourself. Since you have all of this “free time,” you might feel obligated to be “more productive.” But that is not sustainable, especially when you are dealing with fear and stress from a pandemic. Do not worry if you are not being productive every moment of every day.
- Do not work after hours. Sometimes, emergencies happen and working after hours is unavoidable. But, in general, try to keep to set work hours. This will keep you from getting burnt out or overworking yourself.
- Keep up on education. If you find that your work is dwindling, now could be a good time to revisit classes that you have not had time to take. This will allow you to come back from this pandemic with a new and revitalized vision for your business.
Dr. R. Kay Green – Marketing Expert from RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. from Atlanta, GA.
Dr. R. Kay Green is the CEO/President of RKG Marketing Solutions Inc. With over 190,000+ Twitter followers, 35,000+ Facebook Likes, and the Top 1% LinkedIn profile designation, Dr. Kay, a self-motivated trailblazer, is the Quintessential “New-Age” Professional Woman, and PhD Marketing Pro. She earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Marketing, and has completed PhD coursework in Leadership and Organization Change. She also holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and an Associate of Arts in Marketing Management.
She is affiliated with several prestigious universities and has instructed over 350 courses online. A popular speaker on Marketing and Business topics, Dr. Green is currently featured on Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Black News, The Network Journal, Business Review USA, Digital Journal, College View, Business New Hampshire Magazine, Bay State Banner, Reader’s Circle, North Dallas Gazette, Harlem News, Top News Today, One News Page, NE Informer, Women in Business PR News, Consumer News Today, Women PR News, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Daily Herald, The Miami Herald, and Book News Articles.