In every corner of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought traditional business operations to a halt. We have turned away from familiar means of communicating, socializing and working in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. As the situation unfolded, businesses had to grapple with making strategic business decisions and protecting the overall health and safety of their employees. By mid-February, 46% of American businesses had implemented remote-work policies. Since then, workers from Massachusetts to California deemed “non-essential” have been asked to stay home.

For many, this was a quick shift away from sitting/standing at your desk in the office to needing to set up a home office at the dining room table. As a fully integrated, strategic communications firm, we did some research and pulled together some of the best tips on how to remain productive and best communicate with others while working from home to establish an effective and efficient workflow:

  1. Avoid working in bed, or anywhere where you’ll be tempted or distracted
    You know yourself better than anyone. You’re not going to be able to focus on work and “Tiger King” at the same time. Both deserve your full attention. It’s better not to put yourself in a situation that you know you will be distracted by.
  2. Set boundaries with other people in the house
    Communication is key. Be vocal with the people you are quarantined with. Set expectations for the day. On days when you know that you have back to back calls, maybe politely ask your roommate to delay their band practice. Vice versa, if they need the living room for their at-home workout, try transitioning to the kitchen. It is better to set boundaries before they inappropriately walk into your conference call with a client rather than after.
  3. Take breaks
    This is perhaps one of the most important things to do when working from home. Make sure to give yourself a break (make sure you give your coworkers a heads up before signing off and put your “out of office” feature on your email). Even if it’s a break to do laundry, go for a walk outside, or watch your favorite soap opera, your brain needs time to refresh and recharge.
  4. Check-in with friends and family
    From Zooming with friends from work during the day to facetiming with college best friends and family in the evenings, keeping your support network close helps break up the monotony of quarantine. We are all going through a confusing time right now. As plans get canceled and we remain safely in our homes, make sure you lean on the ones you love and check in with friends, neighbors and family.

Stay strong through these unprecedented times, find solace in your work, communicate with others and take time to do things that bring you joy. Most importantly always remember to #StayHome and wash your hands.