The Anti-Work-From-Home Guide from Your Favorite Writing Team

by | May 12, 2020 | Uncategorized

As working conditions and declarations of who is essential change on a dime, people across the country are settling into the routine of remote work. The internet is full of handy advice – from before the quarantine and right up to yesterday – all offering similar strategies. These tips encourage you to change out of your sweatpants, stay on a regular schedule, and ensure you have a dedicated space to work for maximum efficiency.

Clearly, the people writing these advice columns don’t have children. They also probably aren’t homeschooling those children while working. In our new normal, working from home means more than just getting your job done at home: it is a balancing act that involves working from home as well as doing the work of home. And school. And lots of cleaning. So much Clorox. 

Realistic Advice for Remote Work During (and After) a Pandemic

As a remote worker for ten years – including quite a few which involved homeschooling – we’re here to offer you the truth about working from home and how to stay sane while doing it. Our most crucial piece of advice is to take the pressure off yourself. This is a challenging time for everyone – and the “should”s of the past may be more pressure than you can bear. Be kind to yourself and know that the struggles of today will be a crazy memory in the near future.

Consider these five tips for people who are working from home while balancing home life from a few of us who’ve made ourselves experts. 

  1. Stay Comfortable 

If it makes you feel more professional to swap out your pajama bottoms for yoga pants and a jersey top, go for it. But don’t feel like you have to wear professional attire each day to be professional. You know your job – you can do it whether you’re wearing a suit or a gunny sack. Wear what makes you comfortable; just don’t forget to wear pants to the Zoom meeting. You may have to get up at some point, and not wearing pants is sure to make that tough. 

  1. Work When You Can

In a world where we’ve swapped the days of the week for Trash Night and Not Trash Night, adhering to a formal nine-to-five routine defeats one of the small comforts we have during this crazy time – and that’s not having to stick to the same schedule. Stay up a little later and watch a movie when the kids crash. Sleep in. Eat breakfast for dinner. This isolation won’t last forever. We should embrace the good things happening before our lives get busy all over again. 

  1. Work Where You Can 

We’ve seen many blogs suggesting that newly minted remote workers should create a designated place to work away from distractions. That sounds like a dream. Who are these millionaires that have a dedicated workspace, especially if there are two of you working remotely? If we had one of those, it would be called the playroom. Again, this is a time like no other. We may have our husbands accidentally interrupting us with questions about what to make for lunch during a crucial client Zoom, but so does everyone else. 

  1. Don’t Always Be Available 

Now that everyone is on different schedules at home, some of your coworkers or managers might expect you to always be available. Create a schedule that works for you, but don’t conflate a free schedule with unfettered access to you. Turn off your email notifications when you aren’t working and make sure your coworkers know when you plan to be available. Protect your mind by protecting your schedule

  1. Take Breaks

Various aspects of office life remind you to take breaks – from the clock on the wall that never seems to move to eye strain from too many fluorescent lights. Home life doesn’t have the same reminders. If you’re working with kids around, your breaks likely involve situating homeschooled kids or cleaning up after them when they make their own lunch. Eek. Even if that is the situation, you should take time for yourself. Step away from the computer and give yourself time to take a break from all your jobs. 

  1. Be Kind to Yourself

The pressure to be normal and normalize our working conditions in this completely abnormal time is overwhelming. Don’t try it. Do what you need to do to stay sane and keep your life happy. If that’s yoga pants and a juice box with lunch, enjoy it. If you feel more productive in heels and pearls, just don’t trip over the cords on the Xbox. It’s probably an educational game they’re playing. 

When you need help with your content writing, find us. We promise our product is professional – even if our shoes aren’t. 

Alisa Hummell

Alisa Hummell

Alisa Hummell began her career teaching at Northern Michigan University but found she missed putting pen to paper. She began Better Content Matters with Christie Moll and Kimberlee Henry. Together, they were dedicated to covering a gap in marketing to include boutique writing services that helped clients with their SEO while crafting language that spoke to people – and not just bots. In the wake of AI, that need has grown ever more important.