How to effectively work from home while social distancing

Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 08:11:52-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — Business as usual is a thing of the past while companies try to adjust to the new barriers created by social distancing.

Now, more people are trying to make working from home work for them.

Mia Nicholson is a communications strategist at Nielsen. She typically works from home once a week.

“Everyone is getting used to this. This is going to be our new normal for a little bit.”

Tuesday is her fifth day working at home since last week when her company encouraged the social distancing measure to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Many Americans are now faced with the task of getting work done while sitting at home.

Here are some of her tips on making it work:

Create a dedicated work space

Nicholson says it's important to find a neutral environment that to set up your work area.

“I think it’s best if you move to a desk or to your living room just to have a separate space for work and for play.”

Set alarms

Nicholson says set an alarm - even if it’s for the small things - because sometimes you can get so wrapped up with work that you forget to do things like grab a meal.

“I set an alarm for lunch, and I set an alarm for the end of the day because it’s really easy to keep working because it’s like, ‘Oh, I might as well just do this. I’m not doing anything else; I’m at home,’ but I think it’s important to create that boundary.”

Take a break, then refocus

If you find that tasks are taking longer than normal, take a brain break.

“Stop for second. Do whatever you need to do - whether you need to move around, maybe you want to scroll on your phone, give yourself a little bit more leeway there.”

Communication is key

Now more than ever, Nicholson says don’t be afraid to over-communicate with your team.

“Make sure they know what’s going on. Make sure you guys are still having those touch-points since you don’t have that person-to-person interaction.”

Nicholson says the more you practice these types of good habits, the easier it will be to get comfortable with working remotely.

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