Open for Business – Own it

" "The COVID-19 has created a worldwide medical emergency resulting in a historic change to the way the world does business. Many in the workplace have been asked, and some chose, to work from home with no knowledge of how to do so productively. Here are some best practices to create a productive “work-from-home” atmosphere, especially if you are new to working remotely.

You are still a professional. Get up, wash your face, put on deodorant, put on make-up if you wear it, shave, comb and style your hair, and get dressed head to toe. Conduct your morning routine – own your appearance as if you were going to the office. This helps boost self-esteem, in addition to preventing a lazy mood from being too comfortable. Most importantly, you want to be ready at a moment’s notice and presentable if asked to attend a virtual meeting.

Find a space – prepare it – own it. This space can be a chair in the den, the kitchen table, or even a TV tray. The important point is to make it a dedicated space. This step can be tricky; it can take trial and error but is extremely important for productivity. Prepare your space with the tools necessary to be productive. This is your office space so treat it as such. Create a productive environment that works with your personality, whether that means a quiet place or TV/music in the background, make it yours. Remember if you are not at home alone to create a signal that lets family members you are working. It can be a sign, a flag, a closed door, etc. This should help minimize interruptions. You are not only training yourself, but you are also training others that you are working and they should respect your time and workspace.

Create a schedule and plan it out. Set clear guidelines on your workday and follow it as close as possible. Make sure your plan includes breaks. You may experience a perceived lag time if your day is influenced by others, therefore this is the time to create more structure for yourself. Identify daily productivity goals.

Decide on communications and make sure it is a level up from the usual texts and emails. Try your best to recreate experiences as close to in-person as possible. Research free communication technology. Explore digital tools and learn new ways to connect with teams and colleagues.

Unless you need to add weight to your body, do your best to stay away from the kitchen. Some of us stress-eat, boredom-eat or just love food. When working from home it is easy to mindlessly eat. Having the discipline to stay out of the kitchen and get what needs to get done is easier said than done. Do your best to avoid constant snacking.

Ireina Reeves is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions, which serves 13 counties of the Houston/Galveston region. Ireina brings over 10 years of experiences to the team in public speaking, curriculum development, staff training, career consulting, resume writing, and recruiting. She has presented and advised professionals across several industries such as legal, government, collegiate, corporate and nonprofit organizations. She has a zeal for helping job seekers reach their full potential by removing obstacles and tailoring strategies in today’s labor market.

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