This article was republished with permission from StoragePug.
As we continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, working from home has become the new normal for many—and for the indefinite future. It can take some getting used to, especially for self-storage professionals who are accustomed to traveling to a facility or office every day. The following six guidelines will help you work more efficiently during this unusual time.
1. Have a Designated Work Spot
It’s essential to have a dedicated space in your home that’s only for work. It might be tempting and even helpful to change scenery for a bit and work from your couch, but it isn’t going to make you more productive. Choose a spot and be consistent about using it.
2. Create a Routine That Works
It’s easy to get distracted in your own environment! But being disciplined about your schedule will help you avoid being sidetracked during business hours by other stuff you have to do at home. For example, get yourself into a “going to work” mindset every morning. Have your breakfast and go to your work spot. You might even try dressing in work attire. At least change out of those sweatpants!
Sticking to a routine will help you stay focused during work hours. Keep yourself on track and do whatever you need to manage your time well.
3. Keep Communication Frequent and Clear
When you’re working from home, your co-workers and supervisors don’t always know what you’re doing or what you need, so you must communicate with them regularly. Conduct daily or weekly meetings via online conferencing platforms and consider using a document-sharing website. Don’t be afraid to send a lot of messages. You might feel it’s annoying, but it’s the right way to keep communications clear.
4. Reach Out to Others
Don't underestimate the loneliness you might feel. It can sneak up on you at any time. Social distancing is hard when working remotely, but especially now with COVID-19. Know that everyone is in the same situation.
If you’re feeling low, call a friend or someone on your team for a chat, or have a virtual break together. It may sound awkward to drink coffee while looking at each other through a computer, but it's actually a great time.
5. Schedule Breaks
You need to keep your mental health in check. Overwork can be harder to avoid at home. It’s easy to sit in a chair without leaving it for 10 hours. Don’t do that! You need to incorporate lunch breaks and leisure moments.
Consider following the Pomodoro Technique, a time-management system that encourages people to work with the time they have instead of against it. Developed in the late 1980s, it uses a timer to break work into intervals, usually about 25 minutes in length, interspersed with short breaks. It’s just one of many ways to go about structuring your time.
6. Eat Healthy
Don’t forget to eat well! When I started to work remotely a few years ago, I usually forgot to take lunch or breaks because there was always so much to do. It’s a newbie move and not healthy, so carve out some time every day to fuel up.
Making It Work for You
Whether you’re working from home temporarily or plan to do so regularly, you must create boundaries for yourself. Doing so will help you be more productive, communicate better with your team and, most important, maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Some people aren’t comfortable working from home because it can be distracting and there are no social activities. It’s fine if you feel like this! But try to manage your time well, and focus on keeping a routine. In just a few weeks, you’re going to see it’s possible and it works.
Matt Huddleston is co-founder and CEO of StoragePug, a software company that helps self storage operators attract new leads, convert them into paying tenants and rent units online. He combines his computer-science background and more than 13 years of self-storage experience to develop modern tools for end users and managers alike. For more information, call 833.786.7784; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.storagepug.com.