The coronavirus has millions of people working from home. For many, this is a new experience. For Debbie Goetz, president of Debbie Goetz Media Connections in Jamison, and her associate Ilena Di Toro, it’s business as usual. Goetz runs the PR agency from her home, and, since being hired in 2014, Di Toro works from home as well.
While the duo said this arrangement works well for them, they understand many are dealing with problems from interruptions and lack of motivation. So, they put together some tips to help all the new remote workers out there.
– Don’t work in your pajamas: While you don’t have to wear a suit or even your usual work attire, you are at work and need to have an “on duty” attitude. Clothes help you to have such a mindset. While comfortable clothes, like a sweatshirt and jeans, are fine, you don’t want to go too casual. Imagine that your boss wants to do a video chat and you don’t have time to change. In case you don’t know, your rugby T-shirt from college won’t cut it.
– Alert everyone in the house that you are working from home during a certain time and not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency: At work, you have a boss nearby and that helps to keep the interruptions to a minimum. At home, there’s a spouse asking for a snack, kids who need help with school work and relatives calling to say, “Hello.” Set up a room where you can close the door, let calls go to voicemail and use this time to just do your work.
– Don’t look at social media or other fun internet sites while on duty: If one of your job duties is to manage social media channels or do internet research, that’s OK. Still, don’t let the dull moments in your day tempt you to look at your Facebook news feed or browse through pet videos on YouTube. Before you know it, an hour has gone by and you wasted it with mindless internet scrolling. If you wouldn’t look at social media at the office, don’t be tempted to do it during working hours at home.
– Do the tasks that have dollar signs attached to them first: Now that you’re at home, it is tempting to do some heavy-duty house cleaning or cook extra meals before doing some work. You’re not getting paid to vacuum or cook, whereas you are getting paid to work for your employer, so do that first.
– If you aren’t feeling motivated to work, give yourself a reward for doing it: It can be difficult to summon the motivation to work when you are stuck at home. In that case, give yourself a reward of either a favorite snack for completing a particular task or put 50 cents in a jar for every hour you work and spend the money when the all clear sounds. As Nike says, “Just do it,” and if the reward helps you to do the work, all the better.