6 work from home tips to help ease the transition

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Young professional talks on phone while working from home

If you have made the switch to working from home, these tips and tricks can help you adapt to your new office setting and stay organized.

Here are six tips to help you adjust to working from home:

1. Perfect your routine.
Keeping up an established work routine can help you achieve a work mindset and ease the transition from relaxing at home to working at home. For example, if you’re used to working out before heading into the office, stay committed to your morning exercise and it could help you feel more focused before settling in front of your laptop. Or, if you enjoyed grabbing a mid-morning coffee at work, take a break during that time and make yourself a cup of brew at home.

Sticking to a familiar work routine can help you make the switch to a work mindset and keep a sense of normalcy during this time.

2. Create a designated office space.
The opportunity to work from bed might sound great to some. However, hold off from burrowing under your sheets. Going to a designated workspace instead of using a home space, like your bed, can help you stay focused and organized. It can also help you transition from working to relaxing at home when you’re done for the day. A centralized, dedicated workspace:

  • Keeps important work documents in one secure space
  • Helps you stick to a work routine and shift to a work mindset
  • Keeps work materials from getting lost
  • Reduces distractions from others because you can set clear boundaries
  • Keeps your supplies easily accessible while you work

Whether you have a home office, a space at your kitchen table or a corner of another room reserved for your work equipment, the designated workspace you create can help you stay organized, focused and help you get into your new work routine.

3. Plan your day.
Review your calendar and schedule at the beginning of the week and each day to get a sense of upcoming meetings and what projects need to be prioritized. Developing a plan can help you feel more in control of your work day.

One tip to consider is batching your work. According to the American Psychological Association, studies suggest that multitasking can undermine our efficiency, causing us to get less done during the work day. When you batch your work, you’re dedicating a chunk of time to devote solely to one project or task. In a work from home setting — where the lines between work and personal life can blur easily — batching could help you keep your focus on the task in front of you, reducing potential distractions from work and home.

4. Create boundaries.
Setting office hours can help you communicate to others when you’re working and when you’re not available. (Of course, your pets and kids probably won’t get the memo!) Still, communicate these office hours to those you live with as well as your coworkers and ask for their work hours in return. This can help everyone respect each other’s time and help create boundaries between work and personal time.

And because of the current circumstances with COVID-19, some of us may have obligations to attend to during normal work hours, like caring for young children, homeschooling kids or caring for an elderly loved one, that can make this situation all the more complicated. Talk to your employer about creating a flexible work schedule to accommodate your unique obligations during this time.

Finally, consider building breaks into your work schedule. Take care of yourself. Maintain a lunch break, stay hydrated and consider setting a calendar reminder to get up and walk around if you need to.

5. Know where to go for tech help.
If you’re working from home, chances are you’re relying on technology to do it, so it’s important to know where to go for tech help. Have the phone number, email or link to your company’s IT support handy in case you experience technical issues. Or, if you’re a solopreneur without IT support, keep a record of technical support contact information for the tools you’re using and consider hiring a technical support consultant that you can work with virtually, as needed.

Make sure your working team has everyone’s phone number or personal email address. In case of a technology outage, you’ll still be able to connect with those you work with and hopefully limit the disruption.

6. Know what’s protected under insurance.
You’re likely taking precautions to make sure your technology is protected, whether you borrowed it from your workplace or you personally own it. However, accidents can happen — which is why it’s important to know how your equipment is protected under insurance.

Your employer’s business owner’s policy (BOP) or inland marine coverage may offer protection on damaged equipment. For example, Grange’s Business Owners Policy (BOP) provides up to $10,000 of coverage for businesses that experience a covered loss. This can include, for example, a laptop that is damaged at an employee’s home. If an accident occurs and your equipment is damaged, talk with your employer to figure out your next steps.

Homeowners, condo or renters’ insurance can also offer protection if an employer will not cover damages to your work equipment. If this is the case, consider reaching out to your insurance provider’s claim department. They’ll evaluate your insurance policy and walk you through the claim process. Check with your independent insurance agent if you have questions regarding the coverage limits in your policy or what is covered under your insurance.

Working from home can certainly be an adjustment — especially during this challenging time. Keep these tips in mind to help you ease into this transition and adapt to working from home.

References:
- American Psychological Association
- Forbes
- NPR
- Search Engine Journal

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. If you have questions about your Grange home, condo, renters or business insurance coverage, talk with your independent insurance agent.


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