Working from home has changed so much for our team members. Many people when they hear you work from home, will think you have plenty of time to do the laundry, clean the house, and have a great home-cooked meal on the table for dinner.
If you have ever worked from home you are already laughing. It just doesn’t work that way. Working from home is actually HARD WORK: even harder than the office in many ways. The reality is that despite the potential distractions of home, you must consistently balance work-related tasks such as maintaining your focus, organizing your time, and communicating clearly with your co-workers, leaders, and others you may be working with.
If you are living in this situation right now, we are here to help. We’ve asked some of our team members for their best tips on maintaining their workspace and work time at home, and how they’ve helped others in their household learn to respect the work that needs to be done.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
One of our engineers shared his recommendations for creating an effective work area and work schedule at home.
Find your space. It has worked very well for me to separate my living space from my workspace so that when I’m in my workspace, my family knows that I’m working. I also have made it a habit to let my family know that I’m going to be working, just as an added reminder for them to respect that work time. I highly recommend setting aside a special area that is just for work. It doesn’t need to be a separate room: just a dedicated desk or table for work is a great start.
Also, I’ve set a clear work schedule for myself and informed my family of it. They understand that I’m not home to play all day. Setting that schedule helps them (and me) to respect the work that needs to be accomplished, and also the time that I need to complete it. Knowing that I have that time set aside for work helps to keep me motivated and on task.
On top of my work schedule, I also schedule the rest of the day. This helps my family to recognize that while my work time is important, spending time with them is also important. Having that on the schedule helps me show them that I value the quality time that I spend with them after work is finished.
While a clear schedule is important, also keep in mind that you need to be flexible! Working from home is hard, but it is also hard on your spouse, partner, or family: they share that home with you! Be willing to adjust your plans if needed. The relationships in your life will be much stronger in the end if we all treat each other with the respect we want and need.
Also, an engineer, discovered that his family’s willingness to be flexible made a positive difference in his ability to do focused work at home.
I struggled for the first few weeks at home because I didn’t have a designated workspace. Sometimes I would work in the living room, other times in my bedroom. Without a set space for my work, it became almost impossible for me to focus! At first, I struggled but quickly came to realize that I needed to communicate and implement some changes with my family. First, I needed them to respect my workspace. If I was working in an area, then that wasn’t the area to play music, talk, or turn on the TV. I also told them that I was not available for other things around the house while working.
After making these things clear to my family, they were willing to sacrifice so that I could complete my work at home. The living room became my home office, but because I am committed to my schedule, the room becomes a family living space again after 7:00 PM. Everyone is facing challenges and making sacrifices during this time, but by communicating needs and working together, any family can make working from home a success.
Also, it’s great to have a team at work that understands the unique situations of all of us. My niece is very young, and she loves to jump into my meetings to say hello to everyone! I’m grateful that my team and leaders are understanding and do not judge my work in these unique situations.
Our customer experience associate has learned the importance of integrating your work and life in a healthy way that respects work and family by making meaningful time for both.
Having worked remotely for a couple of years, my family and I have gotten used to this lifestyle. One of the most significant things that I’ve learned is that I can enjoy interacting with my family even while getting work done throughout the day. I have scheduled breaks to rest and refresh for a few minutes, and I use these breaks to interact with my family. Life is all about balance, and being able to share a cup of coffee for a few minutes during the workday is a great way to keep your work and home life well balanced. Breaks are important, so take a few minutes and talk with your partner, or throw a ball with your kids (I don’t have kids, but I totally would if I had some): just do something that refreshes you.
To be honest, I sometimes start to feel bad when I have to ask my family to be quiet or turn down the TV while I’m working, but I’m so grateful for their understanding. They know I need to get my work done, and then the time that we DO spend together lets them see my desire to have a healthy work/life balance.
As you and those you live with adapt to your work-from-home lifestyle, we hope that you find these recommendations from our team members to be useful. With patience and balance, anyone can have a productive experience working from home.