As the threat of the coronavirus swept through the nation in March, many businesses sent their workers home, and now, as fall looms around the corner, many people are continuing to work from home. If you're working home longer than expected, you are not alone.
Want to make the best of this new situation? Check out these tips.
1. Optimize Your Work Space for Productivity
If working from home is likely to continue indefinitely, consider setting up a more permanent workspace. Invest in a desk, a comfortable chair, a better computer, some inspirational art to hang on the walls, or whatever helps make your space feel more conducive to productivity.
Miss the buzz of the office? Then, you may want to look into co-working spaces with socially distant protocols. This set up can be a great middle-ground between going into the office and staying at home all day.
2. Consider a Permanent Work-From-Home Arrangement
Being in limbo can be hard. If you're not sure when the office is going to open again and you enjoy working from home, ask your boss if you can make a permanent transition. Many employers may be open to this idea because it can save them money in office costs.
To successfully negotiate an arrangement, you may want to be open to a flexible schedule. Then, once the office reopens, you can do part-time at home and part-time in the office with your colleagues.
3. Crunch the Numbers
Whether you plan to work from home permanently or only until the office reopens, you may want to take some time to see if working from home is saving you money or costing you money. If you're spending extra money on computer equipment, faster internet connections, or other expenses, you may want to reach out to your employer for a bump in pay or some compensation.
On the other hand, if the savings on travel, work clothing, and lunch out is saving you money, you may want to continue working at home as long as possible. In either case, a financial checkup can help you assess the situation.
4. Balance Business and Personal
As working from home continues, take some time to make sure you're balancing your business and personal life comfortably. Even though you've moved the office home, you don't necessarily want to be checking emails just before bed, and on the flip side, you don't want to be folding laundry when you should be focused on work.
One of the advantages of working from home is that you can blend personal and business life. For instance, you can rock a baby while on a conference call or throw dinner in the oven during a quick break. But for your health and your family's health, you need to make sure that you're balancing these two elements, and not letting work overrun your personal life or vice versa.
5. Keep Your Career Moving
Just because you're stuck at home doesn't mean your career should be stuck. Make sure that you're continuing to think about advancement. Are you learning new skills? Do you contribute to the company in innovative ways? Are you reaching out to your boss for new opportunities?
Find interesting ways that you improve your skillset, make yourself invaluable to the company, and ultimately keep your career moving forward.