Telework - Getting Started
- Define your workspace. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch - spaces that are associated with leisure time - set yourself up in a specific area of your home that you will use exclusively as your workspace. Prioritize ergonomics when setting up your workspace. Don't forget about lighting, temperature and aesthetics, too. Make it comfortable, clear the clutter, and perhaps add a plant or open a window (as weather permits).
- Create a specific schedule and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work/life balance. To be the most productive teleworker you can be, stick to a schedule. Choose your working hours and adhere to them as best you can. Structure your day like you would in the office or worksite by planning out what specific tasks you'll do and when. Don't forget to schedule and stick to lunch times and breaks, too. You will feel better emotionally and mentally with a consistent routine.
- Determine clear work/life boundaries. In our 24/7 culture, it's sometimes difficult to log off, and our bodies could suffer because of it. Being constantly connected can affect our emotional and physical health. Make sure to disconnect and maintain separation between working from home and simply being at home. This includes having a separate phone number for work vs. personal calls. Kent State employees can use Cisco Jabber to answer calls that come into your office line on your computer. Visit www.kent.edu/keeponworking for more information or reach out to your local I.T. Support for details on Jabber and other tools to support remote work.
- Set ground rules with people in your space (this means pets, too!) Make sure they understand to respect your focus during work hours. Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you're truly "at home". If you have children at home, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during your work time. Pets might require a closed door to get the message, and you may want to put on headphones if they're being too loud.
- Make a plan for keeping your kids busy. With school closures and concerns about putting kids in day care, parents are faced with a challenge. If you are working from home with kids in tow, you'll need to make a plan for keeping your kids busy with education, entertainment, and physical activity. One idea is to set your kids up with virtual play dates.
For more ideas, check out IMPACT Solutions' video on How To Work From Home While The Kids Are There Too under News Alerts from the IMPACT homepage (login: Kent)