career advice

Working from home may sound like a dream. You may have wished you could try it for a few days a week. Well, here we all are working from home, playing from home, schooling from home and everything else-ing from home. I guess this is what is meant by the saying, “be careful what you wish for.” Working from home isn’t as great when it’s not a choice. But at least there’s no commute. 

Let’s try to make the best of it – we may be here for a while. What can you do to work at home effectively?

For starters, find a space that you can designate for work. If you’re lucky, you may have an office or an extra bedroom. Or, you may want to assign a space like your dining room table. If you have a house with a garage, you may even want to temporarily turn your garage into an office.

At a minimum, you’ll likely need a table, a desk and your computer. If you have a printer and an external monitor, those can also be very helpful. Keep your office supplies nearby, including paper, pens, headphones and anything else you may need. Take the time to set up your new home office in a way that is enjoyable to you. 

Create a schedule for yourself. One of the most essential components to successfully working from home is routine. Try to start working at the same time every day. Set aside time to eat lunch and time for breaks. Finish at a reasonable time. Try not to spend every waking hour sitting and working, as this could lead to burnout. 

Look for ways to stay connected to colleagues. One hurdle when working from home is how to remain relevant at work without sending too many emails or making too many phone calls. Try to stay in touch with coworkers and management without wasting time while still creating a human connection. 

Don’t forget to ask how people are doing. When you open up, you’ll learn that your coworkers are just as stressed and afraid as you are. They’re also trying to figure out how to keep their spouse, kids or pets out of their workspace. 

Working from home is an adjustment, even under normal circumstances, and according to many virtual companies, it can take months for working from home to become regular and routine. 

— Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.