By The NSA Team

Working from home full-time can have its challenges, so here are some tips from some of our full-time work-from-home experts!

  • Create a designated workspace with everything you need nearby.
    • If other members of your family are home with you, find a workplace where you can shut a door. You don’t always have to be shut away, but when it is necessary, create that sound barrier.
    • If you are an avid TV watcher, don’t turn on the television, even during your lunch hour. It’s too much of a distraction.
    • If you have kids at home and that can read, create a sign “I’m in a meeting” – it helps 50% of the time (in my household)
    • Have a designated work area that you can “go to the office” and leave the office. 
    • Post a “Please do not disturb” on your door during virtual/conference calls to limit distractions
  • Take Breaks!
    • Working from home you will notice all the “chores” that need to get done at home. When you need a break or just want to step away from your monitor, start a load of laundry or sweep the kitchen floor. A couple of break-time, quick tasks, will give you a sense of control over both home and work.
    • Take a mid-morning & afternoon – 15-minute break
    • Lunch away from your desk
  • Communication is key to stay connected! 
    • Whether it’s on IM, email or via phone – even to share a joke.
    • Try to have brief, personal conversations with your team/peers either on the phone or through Teams chat. Being disconnected from personal interaction is the hardest part of working from home, even for introverts. You want to laugh at someone’s joke or talk about your weekend or see the picture of your teammate’s new puppy.
    • Over communicate – since you don’t have the option to walk over by someone to discuss a situation, you need to make sure you concisely and accurately communicate
    • Pick up the phone, do not communicate via email only.  This can cause more wasted time then necessary
    • Communicate with your coworkers daily to stay socially connected.
  • Keep up with your normal routine
    • Create a schedule.  Similar to when you go to work, 7-4 for example.  It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are logging on at 6 when you get up or keep checking your computer after your workday is ended. 
    • Take a lunch.  You need to get away from your computer/work. Since you don’t have the distractions of the office you need to do something.  I normally workout or walk my dog, get fresh air.
    • Set limits after hours – it’s too easy to go and continue on working
    • Have a routine. Whether it’s similar to when you were working in the office or not, it’s important to get in a routine. Again, to each your own, but I would highly suggest this includes taking a shower every day.
  • Stay organized
    • Tidy up your space/ desk at the end of day – you’ll be glad you did the next morning.
  • Some co-workers are more distracting than others!
    • My biggest challenge is my cat.  He always wants to participate in my conference calls.  Even with the door shut, it’s sometimes hard to block him out when he’s howling to be let in!
      • Good point on the cat. 
      • Don’t let your cat walk on your keyboard!
    • And if you have a 4-year-old and 6-year-old like I do, this would be a great time for them to start acting like they are 14 and 16 (without the angst and teenage emotions) instead of 4 and 6…
    • If you have dogs – put up all squeaker toys until after hours
  • Get some exercise
    • I tried to make my designated workspace further from my kitchen, so when I need to refill my water bottle, it lets me get some steps in.
  • Have fun with it!