A Few More Tips to WFH effectively
Last, I described how I started my new job WFH. Now that I am up and running, how do we WFH more effectively? Here are a few tips I would like to share.
First, have a routine. I typically start my day around 9-10 am. Before that, I will try to have coffee, have a snack and get some exercise in. Sometimes I run around the block, other times I do yoga following Glo. Then I take a shower, dress up some (to be elaborated later), and start my day. I usually take a break around noon, feed the children (to be elaborated later also), and then continue the day until 6pm or 7pm when it’s time to cook dinner. Not because you are now home, you can ignore exercising or start the day in chaos. Having a routine helps with planning, keeps you physically healthy, and also helps everyone else to set expectations (“mom is usually busy in the afternoon”).
Second, dress up a little bit. Not as if you are going to the office, although in Silicon Valley going to the office isn’t that much different. But I find dressing up a little bit helps with boosting up my professional image, and gives myself a signal of “now it’s time to work!”. I try to wear a nice shirt or sweater, maybe a necklace or some earrings, and occasionally even put on a little make up. I am sure the co-workers don’t mind seeing a more put together person on camera either : ).
Third, find a space. The space may vary depending on the time of the day. In the morning my house is relatively quiet, so I typically camp out in the sun room on the dining room table, while enjoying the view and my coffee. In the afternoon, there are a lot of coming and going, so I asked my husband to set up a desk in our spare bedroom. I also invested in a desktop stand where I can lay down my laptop and stand up for my meetings. While we can’t all get stand-up desks at home, being able to stand and work during the part of the day helps with my posture. Also, switching spots once a while keeps it fun. Most importantly, I know I have a hide-out spot for important meetings where I know I won’t be interrupted by noise. If you can’t have a separate room, at least try to set up a corner, and set expectations with the family when you want them to help to be quiet.
Fourth, maybe the most challenging piece, is how to manage expectations when life and work mix. My kids used to expect me to be readily available whenever I am home, since I am not home that much. They would stop by to chat, ask questions, and of course, demand food. Now that I am home all the time, I tell them that I am usually busy during the morning from 10 to noon, but I will try to fix them a bite for lunch. Sometimes if you only have a short break, you have to be strategic with the lunch. It’d be something short and sweet that you can dish out quickly and feed the family before you have to go back to work. They also know that by around dinner time, I will be done with the day so that’s when they can talk to me. Setting expectations with the family is almost as important as setting expectations with the team.
Do you have tips that you would like to share?