Undoubtedly, we’ve heard the Coronavirus has reached all corners of the globe at this point. For most, working remotely is a new and temporary concept built around social distancing. Meanwhile, some of us chose this lifestyle prior to the pandemic. Social distancing may or may not be something that was already being practiced through work, unintentionally. While there’s plenty of information about the virus flooding the internet and social media, our conversations, and thoughts — we have the ability to lean in as a community and learn from and help one another.
Whether you’ve been sent home to work until this crazy reality is behind us, or you find yourself in a unique situation on territory away from the place you call home, we are all in this together, practicing the new concept of social distancing. The idea that working remotely can feel isolating and lonely however, isn’t new. So, at Mocha, we’re here to share tried and true tips on working remotely while social distancing.
Setting Up Space
When making the move from office to working remotely, the challenge is finding the motivation to step from the mentality that you’re home, into the headspace where it’s time to focus and work. Traditionally, home is a place of comfort and relaxation. The first step to a successful day in achieving our intentions around working remotely is to set up a comfortable space you can work from, with little distraction and good functionality. Such as a strong internet connection and access to outlets if need be. For some, this might be a home office or dining room table. For others, it might be the comfort of their couch with no other options available.
If you don’t have an office or spare room to set up office in, consider designating a corner of your home space solely for work. Utilizing a folding table or coffee table can be an excellent solution to separating home life and work, both inside the home.
Ideally, it’s nice to have a natural light source, and a little fresh air if possible. If you can, have an organized space you can put yourself into wholeheartedly. Utilize accents of motivation and inspiration — like pictures of your family or a favorite vacation spot, or vision board. This is helpful in maintaining motivation and focus.
Developing a Routine
Finding a routine is imperative to being successful, no matter what situation you’re in. If working between certain set hours, then this step is made easy. However, some may have the flexibility of working their own hours. If you fall into this category, figure out a time of day that you’re most productive, and work around that schedule. If for instance, struggling with being a morning person has been an issue, allow more time early in the day to get moving, and put your best foot forward during a time that feels more productive.
It’s great to carve out some time at the end of each day to reflect on goals and progress you made, highlighting what worked and shedding light in grey areas that maybe didn’t go so well. Setting intentions for the next day ahead, or even at the start of each day, is a great way to stay focused and really meet the goals you’ve set forth.
Juggling Family and Finding Productivity
Whatever your family structure looks like, from raising young ones in the home, juggling life as a single parent, to navigating through teenage angst, it can be extremely challenging to stay focused and motivated on work. Planning activities at home to keep our kids occupied and educated, with school closures, while focusing on work could be one of the biggest challenges that professionals working remotely face. This is why we find it so important to create a clear routine in the home for everyone to thrive in. This could look like taking turns with family time, creating activities that will occupy young ones, and even turning to online learning, such as programs like Outschool, to occupy kids so you can stay focused.
Battling Everyday Distractions
Throughout the day it’s all too easy to let our minds wander and get distracted from tasks at hand. That’s why it’s beneficial to turn off the TV, Netflix, news channels, and social media during working times. Finding pockets of time for breaks to relax and recharge your mind is key to not feeling burnt out throughout the day. However, we all know too well how an intended 10-minutes on social media can quickly turn in to hours. So really keep a check on how you’re spending your time throughout the day, and focus on your goals.
Maintaining Your Sanity
Work and home life are often balanced with a good dose of social activity. Take that outlet away through social distancing and lockdowns, and we’re left with an environment that over time may lead to overwhelmingly feeling unmotivated, depleted, scared, and even depressed. It’s important that through these radical times we stay informed and educated while taking precautions and following healthy recommendations. But equally important, is that we allow ourselves to laugh often, lean on each other in a time of need, and find innovative ways to indulge in the things that bring us joy, from the comforts of home.
Self-care and setting long-term goals are important to staying motivated. Setting a routine around work prevents feeling burnt-out. Education and self-awareness combat reacting out of fear of the unknown. And if you feel depressed, reach out to a friend or loved one near or far, to confide in. The thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Even though it might feel like it with the lack of day-to-day in-person interaction.
Getting Social While Practicing Social Distancing
We live in a wonderful age of digital connection. We are lucky in that sense to not only have the opportunity to continue to work remotely, but to feel more connected around the globe. Let’s use that to our advantage!
Connect with people you worked with, in the office, day-to-day through chat, email, and LinkedIn. Join an app like Mocha and meet others in your area or in your similar field who are working remotely and start a conversation. And most importantly, check in on your loved ones. Call friends and family who you might have met with outside of work to grab a drink or meal, and see how they’re doing.
Schedule video calls to catch up, have a drink or share a meal together virtually. Don’t feel the pressure to only talk about current events. It’s important for our brains to have some release from immediate stressors. Allow yourself to laugh and have fun, even in stressful times, without guilt.
Remember, we are all in this together, near and far. Let’s use social distancing to our advantage in strengthening connections.
About the cover photo: In some countries when COVI-19 was declared a pandemic, the public bought all the toilet papers in the stores. The reason is yet to be known!
Photo Credit: By Claire Mueller