As of the beginning of April, approximately 75% of US workers are under a Stay at Home order. That percentage continues to increase as more states put protective health measures into place. Many law firms are dealing with this situation by temporarily moving their operations to online-only and having employees work remotely, from home. This has created a unique situation, where staffers are trying to complete their assignments, all while adjusting to a new work environment. In our latest blog, we’re sharing some advice on how to stay motivated and productive while working from home.
Maintain Your Regular Work Schedule
You may be tempted to start work a little later than usual, shut down your computer a little earlier than you normally do, or even spend a few extra hours on your work projects. (Why not? You’re already at home, right?) But it is important to maintain your regular work hours as much as possible. To begin, having a set work schedule is good for your overall health because it will also keep your sleep schedule and your eating schedule in check. Additionally, it is easier to maintain your work/life boundaries if you have the same schedule every workday. You need time for yourself and time with your loved ones – and when you have a set start and end time to your day, it is easier to make the transition from work time to relaxation time.
Your Work Wardrobe – Wear What’s Comfortable For You
As we’ve shifted from the office to the home, there have been a multitude of articles published about “appropriate” at-home work wardrobes. Some productivity experts suggest getting fully dressed every day. Others, on the other side of the spectrum, say it’s fine to wear your pajamas all day. The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Wear what you’re comfortable in and what works for you. If you feel that putting on your work clothes helps get you into the work mindset – then wear your regular work clothes. If you’re more comfortable working in your sweatpants – then wear what’s comfortable for you. Just be mindful of video conference calls and maintaining professionalism among your colleagues and clients.
Have a Designated Workspace
Finding your ideal workspace can take a bit of trial and error (pardon the pun). You want to have an area with plenty of room to spread out your computer, paperwork, writing utensils, and whatever else you might need during the day. You also should have a structured chair with support for your back. It may be fun and different to work while propped up in your bed or on the couch, but after a few days of this, your back and shoulders will probably start to hurt. This, in turn, can also impact your work performance and mindset. Having a designated workspace is beneficial for productivity and for maintaining your work/life balance. Once your work hours are over, you can leave your designated space (mentally and physically) and relax with your loved ones.
It’s Okay to Take Breaks
If you’re working from home, getting up from your designated workspace might create a feeling of guilt – like you’re clocking out of work when you’re not supposed to. But you need to remember that it is okay to take breaks. If you were in your usual office, you would be getting up periodically to grab some water, stretch your limbs, take a lunch break, go outside for a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air, etc. Taking a break is a normal, necessary part of any workday. It helps us to de-stress and reset. Whether you spend your usual five-minute break getting a coffee refill or moving laundry from the washer to the dryer – it’s your five minutes. Be sure to take them.
Ask For Help If You Need It
While we are all trying our best to adapt to this new work environment, the truth is, no one is an expert in working remotely during a Stay
at Home order. What’s more, it can be unsettling not knowing exactly how long this situation will last or how we’ll ultimately be affected. It is important to communicate with your co-workers, colleagues, and peers – and communicate often. Tell your story. Don’t be afraid or ashamed about asking for advice. If a project or a case isn’t going as you expected, reach out to your virtual office to see how they are handling things. It’s a phrase we hear often now, but we truly are all in this together. Staying connected can help boost your productivity, keep you motivated, and ensure that we will get through this safely and successfully.
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