Tips for Working at Home During COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed everyone’s work and home life and combined it all into one. Everything is not business as usual. All of us are in quarantine and if you’re working, you are likely doing it from home. If not, you’re working from an empty fitness studio or office. In any case, you’re working in self-isolation.
Working from home can be challenging, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. When you are physically at your business, you’re engaging with clients or staff and you’re used to your routine. While at home, you need to adjust and take extra steps to be as productive as possible. We’ve compiled the following tips to help you regain your footing and take control of your new normal.
Designate a clean/organized workspace
At your physical workplace, you have a space designated for work – like an office. Now that you are working from home, it’s important to create a dedicated and organized work area there, as well.
Do you have a designated home office already? Great! If not, this is where you keep everything you need for work—your computer, paperwork, and other important resources. Making sure that you have a space dedicated to your work will give you the freedom to take a break from it when you need to. If you end up working all over the house, it will feel like you are always working.
If you are hosting online classes, choose a clean, open and quiet place in your home where you can concentrate – just be sure there’s nothing in view that can distract your clients. Double-check the acoustics to see how loud you can blast your music, but also check that it doesn’t bother others in the household.
Maintain a regular schedule and plan your day
We are creatures of habit and our routine has been disrupted. How we structure our day is often based on going somewhere to work, or at least making trips outside of the house. Be sure to maintain your usual workday routine the same way you would when going to your office or the physical location of your business, like your fitness studio.
Making a routine and sticking to it will not only feel like an accomplishment, but will also help you stay productive. Here are some tips for planning your day:
- Start your day off right: Set your alarm, wake up early and eat a healthy breakfast to create the tone for the rest of your day.
- Get dressed: It may seem like a good idea to work in your pyjamas; however, those working at home are more productive when putting in an effort to get dressed, rather than rolling out of bed and starting work. If you’re doing a livestream in the morning, you need to look the part!
- Specify your hours: Plan your meetings and classes and set a time when you start and finish work. If you don’t, it’s easy to work unplanned overtime without focusing on your personal or family time.
Get outside: Take daily walks
Now that you’re working from home, you need to get outside for some fresh air on a regular basis. Whether you are streaming online classes or addressing other areas of business, take at least a 20-minute walk each day. Spending a minimum of two hours per week outdoors can improve your mood, reduce stress, and benefit your overall wellbeing. Even if it’s just around the block, getting outside will give you something to look forward to, help you reset, energize you, and keep you productive for the rest of your workday.
Take breaks for meals and stretching exercises
As you work from home, you may find that you get in the zone, and next thing you know the workday is over and you haven’t even taken a break. When you work from home you need to plan your breaks, otherwise, you may not take one or even spend too much time on break. Schedule them in your calendar, set your alarm, and take them at the same time and length every day.
Do you need to plan for your online fitness class? Maybe you need to go over the script for your webinar? Take a break, even if it’s just to clear your head to prepare for the rest of the day.
Breaking for healthy meals/snacks is also super important. Have a smoothie, a high-protein salad at lunch, or try hummus with vegetables for a snack to help boost your energy levels! Stretching every two hours also allows you to feel refreshed, take your mind off work, and refocus on what’s next. Some examples include arm and neck circles, seated spinal twists, and wrist stretches.
It’s easy to become absorbed in our job when working remotely—drinking water is often the last thing on our minds. But water is so important for your hydration and overall health! Not only does it hydrate you, but it lubricates the joints, boosts skin health and beauty, regulates body temperature, helps with weight loss, boosts performance during exercise and so much more. Don’t forget to drink your water!
To increase water consumption and make sure keeping hydrated is on your mind, try keeping an 800ml (about three cups) water bottle at your desk or workspace, and refill a few times throughout your day.
How to Keep Kids Occupied
So, you’re working from home, your spouse is home, and likely you’re homeschooling your kids, too. You insist you can get through a workday without distractions. Good luck!
You’re teaching an online class and your eight-year-old runs through your shot. Are you speaking with a client over the phone? Don’t be surprised if your client hears your kids in the background. These distractions are inevitable.
For business owners with children, it can be difficult to balance work while keeping your kids engaged at the same time. Here are some of our expert tips for business owners working at home with their kids:
Create kid-friendly workouts
Are you offering online or recorded classes, workouts, or lessons? Take “bring the kids to work day” to a whole new level and let your kids participate.
Not a parent, but have clients with kids? Create kid-friendly workouts and exercise programs that can easily be done with kids by their side. Lose the workout equipment and focus on yoga poses, stretching/abdominal exercises, and bodyweight movements. You can also use props like pillows or your kids’ stuffed animals.
Try some of these specific exercises with your kids:
- Pushups can be done with your child on your back and their arms wrapped around your neck.
- Similar to pushups, you perform a plank exercise with small kids on your back. See how long you can last, but aim to hold the plank for at least 30 seconds.
- Sit-ups are another classic exercise you can do with your kids holding your feet as you complete your reps. You can also hold your kids’ feet and they can complete a set or two, too!
- Kids can do squats even at a young age. So, challenge your with kids this one and see who can do the most squats in a minute!
- Walk down a hallway or across an open room and perform lunges with a small child in each arm. How many kid-style lunges can you do?
- Don’t have any bench press equipment at home? No problem! Use your toddler or young child as the weight.
- Dancing, shoulder press, jumping jacks, sofa dips, and yoga are other great examples of exercises you can do alongside your kids.
* Make note that these exercises may not be appropriate for all ages.
Find a virtual babysitter
So, you really need to buckle down, but your kids need an activity. If your spouse can’t help, set up a virtual babysitter by reaching out to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and friends. Sit your child in front of the computer or Smartphone, and let the virtual sitter keep an eye on them while you do your work.
Get your virtual babysitters to pick activities that align with your kids’ interests. For example, together they can sing, dance, play board games, read a book, do schoolwork, watch their favorite videos, or even learn to draw. Drawing is an excellent, quiet activity that can be done easily with just a pencil and paper—teach them to use their imaginations!
Once you find an arrangement that works, schedule it regularly throughout the week so that your kid has something to look forward to. Your kids will be entertained while you’ll be able to plan and get all your work done. It’s a win-win!
Give the kids their own daily routine
You have a daily routine that keeps you on track, and this everyday schedule is just as important for kids.
Sit down with your kids and tell them what each day will look like. While it’s impossible to recreate their school day, you can build a new routine for them at home while you get down to work.
Be specific with everything, from when they will get up in the morning and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, other daily activities, and even when their bedtime is. Teach your kids the importance of maintaining routine by involving them in the planning process—they may even have their own ideas about how to keep occupied!
While Everyone’s at Home…
Right now, everyone is adjusting to their new normal and doing their best to stay productive. Getting through your workday is a breeze when you create a dedicated workspace, follow a schedule, take regular breaks, stay hydrated, and get outside with daily walks.
Adding kids into the mix does complicate things but managing it all is definitely possible. Make sure that their day realistically aligns with yours and make their bedtime your own time to wind down from the day. You may just find the whole household becomes more productive as a result!