By Lisa Major
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employees around the globe have had to make a sudden switch from working in an office to working from home. For many, working remotely five days a week is unchartered territory, and if you’re an experiential marketing or event professional, you’re probably used to working in a creative and vibrant space that thrives on tight deadlines and teamwork. Shifting from the camaraderie of your workplace to working remotely may feel challenging, overwhelming, and it may even be a little frightening.
At ATN Event Staffing, our entire team works from home, and it has always been that way. And we’re not trying to toot our own horn or anything, but we think we’re pretty darn good at it. With that said, we’ve collaborated to bring you some of our best tips that will help you stay productive and sane.
Set a routine for yourself, or follow your normal pre-work routine as much as possible. If that means waking up to an alarm, drinking coffee, going for a run, showering, and getting dressed, then stick with that routine.
After your morning routine, take a few minutes to tidy up by making your bed (you’ll be less likely to want to crawl back in it), straighten up and declutter your living and workspace(s), and clean up the kitchen. In doing so, you’ll be more focused on your work instead of thinking about what needs to be done around the house.
Prepare your lunch and snacks for your workday ahead of time. This will save you a lot of time and will help you make healthier choices throughout the day. And more importantly, don’t forget to eat! Take a true lunch break, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes, and eat somewhere other than your workspace.
There may be a lot of temptation to roll out of bed and stay in those PJs but resist the urge. Getting dressed, even if it’s just changing into gym clothes, separates your rest time from your work time.
It’s important to try and separate your home life from your work life as much as you can, especially if you have a spouse, partner, or children at home with you. Establish a quiet and dedicated space that is all yours, but also try working in different areas of your house or outside for a change of scenery.
It’s super easy to get sucked into your work when you’re at home. Set a schedule with a start time, an end time, and break times, but allow for some flexibility. To keep yourself on track, set an alarm for your breaks and/or try out a time blocking app.
Do whatever you want on your breaks, there are no rules! Exercise, take the dog for a walk, throw a load of laundry in, heck, take a 15-minute power nap if you’re able to.
Whether it’s your mom texting you or your partner rambling on about his/her work, distractions are inevitable. But unlike getting sucked into your co-worker’s conversation in an office setting, you do have more control over distractions when you work from home. For example, turn your personal phone on do not disturb, retreat to a quiet spot in the house, or put a do not disturb sign on your office door to let your family or roomies know that you’re busy.
Given our current situation, you probably have the urge to check the latest news or social media sites every so often to find out what’s happening in the world. But as you know, a quick check of media sites isn’t always so quick. If you feel the need to check on things throughout the day, set limits for yourself and only check them during breaks (but don’t spend your entire break time getting wrapped up in unnecessary drama).
Working from home every day can feel isolating, especially if you’re not used to it. Your company probably uses Skype, Zoom, or Slack to relay important information, but use those channels to socialize with your co-workers too. Whether it’s conversing with individuals, sharing the occasional funny meme with your team, or telling bad dad jokes (we’ve all got that one guy, don’t we?), staying connected with your co-workers is important. Also, try out a virtual lunch date and/or happy hour to stay in touch.
Keep your body moving throughout the day and get moving every time you have a chance to. You can stretch, take a walk (during calls too), do a quick 15-minute home workout, keep your dumbbells close and pop out a few reps, ETC. Whatever you choose, just remember to stay active because it makes a world of difference.
Most event professionals are used to working long hours to meet deadlines; however, if you’re at home, your day will never end unless you set an end time and stick to it. If you’re used to checking your email in the evenings on your phone, by all means, keep doing that, but resist the urge to go back to your desk to check on things unless it’s necessary.
+ A Standing Desk
A few of our employees swear by a standing desk to stay productive and motivated. If you don’t have one of these at home, you can easily use items that you already have on hand to create a makeshift version. For example, stack boxes or crates on top of your existing desk or the kitchen table, work from a dresser, chest, or any other place that is the appropriate height.
+ Natural Lighting and Fresh Air
Natural lighting and fresh air is good for your body, mind, and soul. Open up the windows in your home and work in a spot that has a lot of natural light if possible.
+ Music and/or Podcasts
Your office, your rules. Listen to music, podcasts, or whatever else keeps you going throughout the day. Create different playlists for different days, tasks, and moods.
+ A Foot Hammock
+ A comfortable desk chair
+ Wireless headphones
+ A tuxedo shirt
“Because they are good for any situation.”
While it certainly has its own unique challenges and may seem overwhelming, working remotely also allows for a lot more flexibility in your work/life balance. Stay active, stay social, and keep on truckin’ friends.