The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is forcing many employers to send workers home. Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and even Fortune are closing offices out of an abundance of caution to prevent the spread of the virus and protect their employees.
That’s creating a new swath of telecommuters, many of whom have never worked from home for an extensive period. That's not as bad as you think—but it’s not the life of luxury you might be envisioning either.
Good news first: You’re likely going to get a lot more done. A 2019 Harvard University study found that people who are given the freedom to “work from anywhere” were 4.4% more productive than those who have more rigid workplace requirements.
The adjustment can be jarring at first, though. And the isolation—combined with close quarters to spouses or children—can be disruptive. Need help navigating the work/life balance issues and figuring out how best to get your job done? Here are some ways to make it easier.
1. Telecommuters need the right tools
Just like you wouldn’t go into an office without the right equipment, you’ll want to ensure that your home workspace is an environment that is well suited to get your job done.
Step one is to make sure you have a dedicated area. Working from your living room couch or kitchen table makes it both harder to concentrate and harder to detach when the day is over. A spare bedroom or a guest room with a desk—anywhere you can separate yourself from any day to day chaos in your house—is essential. (Even if you live alone, find an area you can cordon off as work space.)
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