Adjusting to a New Normal

by Kate Hynson

Financial Frequency. myCareer

March 30, 2020 . 4 min read

Barking dogs, kids asking for snacks every hour, or learning that your roommate is a “per my last email” kind of person, may quickly leave you wondering when your personal happy hour can begin.

If that description doesn’t fit the bill of learning how to adjust to our “new normal” and working from home daily, we don’t know what will. But trust us, you’re not alone. 

Reality is, more of us are working from home now than ever before. As a group that frequently operates remotely, the myWorth team is sharing some of our top WFH tips. These are some things that we feel make the biggest difference in allowing us to effectively and efficiently accomplish work as a remote team.

Find Where You Focus:

One of our top myWorth team tips is to find a workspace that creates an environment for you to be productive and creative. Keeping it clean will help keep you focused. The key here is to make your space personal. The desk in your office with your cute succulent, crystals and an extra cup of coffee within reach? That’s the same space you want to create for yourself at home. Light a candle, play some soft music in the background while working on creative work, or even put on those fuzzy slippers to be more comfortable.

mW pro-tip: Don’t settle for your bed as your new WFH space.

Tune Out & Turn On:

Working from home can be a really efficacious work style for many people but cutting distractions out is a big part of that success. Unless you need social media for your job, keeping your phone out of sight will help you to not be tempted to socially scroll during working hours. 

Chances are that you’re not isolated ‘alone.’ If that’s the case for you, social media may not be your top distraction. Over time, we’ve found it helpful to let our family members and roommates know when we’re on important calls and can’t be interrupted. If you do have small kids, bring back nap time so you can get some work done. Putting on a good movie after lunch is a win all around. It allows your kids to be entertained but wind down, and gives you a large block of time to yourself to get work done.

mW pro-tip: Noise-cancelling headphones are a lifesaver.

Set Boundaries:

There is a time and a place for everything - including work. We find it important to be clear about when you’re working so that your kids or friends who are not working don’t try to take advantage of you. 

We also recognize that it’s equally as important to set boundaries around when you start and stop working for the day. At the end of the day, be sure to switch your presence from work to your family or other commitments. Just like you’d leave the office, leave your work for the day. It’s healthy to keep yourself on a normal working schedule. Unless something is urgent, the emails can wait until your work day begins.

mW pro-tip: “No” is a complete sentence.

Plan Ahead:

Planning and prioritizing is a huge help to our team! Creating a timeline for yourself will help with efficiency and organization. Schedule time throughout your day for simple tasks, like checking emails or returning phone calls. Then schedule block time to work on more focused projects. This can also help you to not feel too overwhelmed if you’re working on a variety of projects at one time. 

Decide ahead of time when you’re going to workout, run errands or complete other household items. Some of our team members suggest working out at the end of the day, as it helps them transition from work back to home life. It may take you a bit of time to get in your groove of what works for you.

mW pro-tip: Schedule calls for when the house is most quiet.

Give Yourself a Break:

Literally! Give yourself a physical and mental break during your work day. Just like you’d have a break for lunch at work, it’s good to give yourself one at home too. If you have a working lunch, get up and go for a walk at some point. 

If the weather is nice, sit outside for a call or to do some work. Take advantage of that warmer weather, while getting out of the house for a few minutes.

mW pro-tip: Moving your body & a few minutes in the sun really helps us re-energize.

Get Ready for the Day:

You don’t have to go sporting business casual in your own home - we’re not that crazy! But we find it refreshing to get out of your pajamas and get in work mode. Get dressed in your workout clothes so you’re ready for that post-day workout, and be sure to have appropriate clothing available in the event that there is a last minute video call that comes up.

mW pro-tip: Have a black turtleneck on hand! Cozy and perfect for a video call. 

Your Presence is Important:

As you start to work from home, your leader will likely have expectations for you, but think of working remotely as business as usual. Be responsive with messages and communicate with your leaders and coworkers. 

At the same time, don’t over communicate just to prove you are working. Ask your leader questions about their expectations if they haven’t been as clear as you need! Find out what your leader needs from you regarding communication. Remember, they are likely working remotely too.

mW pro-tip: WFH is not equivalent to OOO.