Submitted by Guest Blogger Michelle Vandepol, Coordinator, Hope Centre
Having worked from home for over a decade as a freelance writer and then in an office in a remote location prior to working at UFV, let me reassure you – you have what it takes to work remotely.
Here are some things that helped me to stay on track:
- Keep your bedtime and wake-up time the same. Maintaining your sleep schedule will optimize your emotional health and immune system.
- Use the time you usually use to commute to do something for yourself. This can be a fun change of pace. Now you may have time for a morning podcast, going for a run, or time in the garden.
- Dressing for work and preplanning your day with meals, breaks, and work priorities makes the day go by faster with the reassurance of a regular work day.
- Use a white board or post-its if you want visual reminders.
- Being gentle with yourself means health self-care: exercising and eating well and having regular breaks.
- Being gentle with others means holding on to generous assumptions. Be encouraging in your interactions with others. Everyone is finding their way and their new normal. Our work will get done. Perhaps with even more balance than usual if we are intentional about it.
- Managing anxiety that sometimes comes from spending increased time alone can be combated by connecting remotely. Make a phone call when you can. Starting your morning routine with journaling, meditation, or prayer can also be helpful.
- Fight burnout with wise pacing. Log off at the end of the day and make note of non-essential emails you receive after hours to respond to during your next day’s work session. Remember that some staff members and online instructors with small children may opt to work after the kids go to bed and are not expecting you to answer them right away. They may just be using the time they have available if they were interrupted in the day.
- Plan what you can. Maximize your work time by aligning priorities with time blocks. Break larger tasks into many tasks. Work in a way that works for you. Do you like to work methodically through each task to the next? Do that. Do you like to tackle tasks from the list in the order that they appeal to you? Do that.
- Record your workday successes and celebrate them. Keep a record of what you work on, accomplish, and new ideas for projects and processes you come up with. It will be affirming to you. And the change in pace could well bring about some great creative ideas.