Currently Remote -
9 Tips for Working from Home

Chirag Shah
August 19, 2020

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COVID-19 has forced many of us to change the way we work. To keep employees, families, and communities healthy, more and more companies are going remote. CURRENT is one of them.

From our personal experiences during our 110 days and counting of social distancing, we’ve gathered a list of tips, advice, and best practices that have made our transitions to remote work as seamless as possible. We’re passing these tips along to you to help you continue working through this transition with confidence and optimism.

Tip #1: Continue your morning routine.
As we are no longer commuting to work as much, we are tempted to sleep in or work in pajamas. However, we must continue our same morning routine, even if we’re not heading to the office. Our daily routine sets the tone for our entire workday. 

My daily routine before getting into the work day includes a 30-minute walk, 15-minutes of mediation, getting ready, and having breakfast.

Tip #2: Set a daily schedule for your workday – including breaks.
To stay motivated and productive while working at home, I have found setting a daily schedule or a to-do list is a total gamechanger. 

Usually, the night before, I would pick the top-5 tasks that I would like to accomplish the next day. Knowing what I need to do today, I can be intentional about my work and organized to add time for breaks, too! 

Give yourself a break, whether that's looking at Tik Tok or calling your mom. I bet you can't guess which one I do more of.

Tip #3: Organize a designated place to work.
Set up a designated space to serve as your home office while you're remote.

For me, the dresser that I hardly used became my standing office workstation. It helps me get "plugged in" easily and helps me more accepting of this change.

Here are a few tips when selecting your new/upgrading workspace:
WiFi – consider the location of your router in your home. I have my "dresser desk" nearby for faster internet speed.
Background – Like me, you're probably doing a lot of video calls. Feel free to get creative. It doesn't hurt to have one for your BNI meetings, team/staff meetings, and happy hours with your friends and family.

Tip #4: leave work at work.
This tip is probably the one that I struggle with the most. As a "workaholic,” I find it challenging separating work from home. However, I understand how essential it is to keep a healthy work/life balance. 

Whether remote or at the office, I have to set boundaries for myself so I can always leave work at "work." 

Some of my boundaries include:
Regular Office Hours - I would work from 10 am-5 pm with periodic breaks for lunch, bathroom, and random dancing (Yes, it's true!).
The “It Can Wait” Mentality - When I first started Current, my way of life was as long as I am awake, I will always respond to my emails/phone calls. However, to stay true to this tip, and to keep a better balance in this COVID world, if it's after hours, I will only respond if it's an emergency (9/10 times it is never an emergency).

Tip #5: make it a point to move!
To move more throughout the day, I schedule a time for physical activity first thing in the morning and after work hours. My heavy cardio workout includes running  2-3 miles per day and up to 15 miles per week. By doing so, my work ethic is boosted and my stress and anxiety is reduced. 

Tip #6: enjoy the outdoors.
Even though the CDC recommends practicing social distancing by staying at least six feet away and wearing a mask from others, you can still go outside! 

Working from home doesn’t mean you’re stuck in the house. I highly recommend taking a walk in your neighborhood, biking the trails at J. R. Alford Greenway, or going for a run through Cascades Park. Spending time outdoors has helped me spread light through positivity and optimism in these dark times. 

Tip #7: take time for professional development.
With conferences and events having to cancel/reschedule due to the pandemic, there are still tons of opportunities to develop your professional skills.

Sign up for an online certification. Read a book on entrepreneurship. Listen to a podcast. Start a side-hustle/business. Keep learning! 

Here are some of my suggestions:
Adobe Certification(s) - 
Book - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Podcast - How I Built This by Guy Raz

Tip #8: check-in with your team.
Remembering to check-in with your team during the day and the non-work day is my most important tip.

Whether it's a two-minute phone chat or a quick message of encouragement via GroupMe, I'm intentional about connecting with my employees to check in about their personal and professional well-being. My team is my family.

Tip #9: celebrate wins - big & small.
In these times of uncertainty, we will take all the positivity we can get. At CURRENT, we celebrate the wins of our team, clients, and partners – big and small. We share them as posts, through emails, and Zoom video calls. 

Lastly, working from home is now the new normal. Just take it one day at a time, and remember that we’re all in this together.