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Lessons from a Year of Working from Home

Back in March 2020, a large portion of the workforce (including our blogger!) moved from working in an office every day to remote working, aka working from home (WFH). Nearly a year later, this remains the reality for many of us. In fact, some companies (such as Twitter and Facebook) are looking at part or all of their workforce continuing to work from home permanently. So, what have we learned from this year that we can put to use as we continue working from home, possibly indefinitely?

1. Create a Routine
Maybe you’ve heard about the trend of people recreating their daily “commute” or following a similar routine to set themselves up for a day of working from home. Routines set us up for success by putting us into the right mindset for a task. Being consistent in what you do each day to prepare yourself for work and what you do to signal to yourself that you’re workday is over can help maintain work-life balance which can be all the more elusive when your work and your life are taking place in the same building.

2. Master over-communication
One of the things many of us have realized over this year is the importance of body language - or lack thereof. Virtual meeting platforms like Zoom have enabled us to continue communicating from our homes, but they eliminate the key piece of human communication that is non-verbal. Learning to over communicate, state more explicitly what we’re looking for, what we need and how we’re feeling is a crucial skill this change is forcing us all to adopt.

3. Block out time for deep work
Another thing a lot of us are missing when we’re working from home is the door - a way to shut out the world and focus on deep, uninterrupted, undistracted work. Technology, while helpful in so many ways, has made many of us constantly available, but our best work is often done in that deep focus mindset we can only get from shutting ourselves away from distractions. Setting up your schedule in such a way that you have clear, uninterrupted time to really focus is key to being your most productive from home.

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It’s been an unusual year and the only thing we can say for certain is that remote working is, at least in some capacity, likely to stay with us for a long time. If that’s what the future holds for you, we hope you find tips here to help you get the most out of your WFH life.

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