The staff at My TechDecisions and sister publications Commercial Integrator, CE Pro, Campus Safety and Security Sales & Integration has just completed its first week out of the office due to COVID-19.
We’re due back in the office some time in April, but that date could very well be pushed back if things get progressively worse out there.
I usually dreaded working from home due to the myriad distractions and the lack of a dedicated workspace at home. I’ve since fashioned myself a corner in my half-finished basement upon where I’ve plopped a desk for my laptop and an old computer monitor.
I’m away from the dogs, wife, street noise, TV and other distractions down here.
That seems to have done the trick, as I’ve found myself finishing what I’d typically get done in a day in a shorter amount of time. I’m finding I have more time to spend on things both work-related and not, and I’m sure that’s the same for most of our readers out there.
Here are some things you and your employees might have time for while you’re working at home:
Clear your email
I’ve got 27,470 unread emails on my phone (mostly spam, automatic payment receipts, etc) and surprisingly only about 1,000 unread emails on the work account. This is busy work that I never prioritize, but it can help you become more organized. Staying on top of your email can also help prevent against phishing attacks, which are increasingly targeting coronavirus concerns.
Cleaning digital and physical spaces
This goes without saying. The daily grind of waking up, going to work, coming home and doing it all over again isn’t very conducive to cleanliness. Take a few minutes before, after or in-between work-related tasks to tidy up, especially in your work area.
If your work devices are cluttered with files and data you don’t need anymore, either move it to the cloud or erase it.
Start that project
If you’re like me and you have a lot of ideas and not enough time to do all of them, pick a few that you really like and devote your free time to that project. This is also a chance to get ahead in your work and show initiative.
As a journalist, I find a lot of inspiration by consuming other media. I’m trying to discover new podcasts, blogs, and other sources to help me better my craft here. Do some digging to find something to inspire you in your job and come up with some new ideas to share with the team.
Get in shape
Disclaimer: I’m not really following my own advice here so far. More downtime means more time to go for a run or a long walk. Most gyms are closed, but it’s not hard to Youtube some home workouts you can do. This is especially important if your typical daily routine involves working out. Looks like I’ll be at home for a while so maybe I’ll heed my own advice eventually.
For the average person, they only see their family a few hours each day during the week. I’m easily distracted so I like some peace and quiet while I work, but you might be different. Leave that office door open and let the kids come see what mom and dad are up to.