Our Top Tips for Working from Home

Just like many of you, OMF (U.S.) has transitioned to working from home. Although a lot of us were working remotely pre-COVID, we are all learning and growing. We’ve gathered responses from our workers and condensed them into 7 top tips to help you make the transition! Keep reading for tips from individual OMF workers.

  1. Get dressed.
  2. Plan your day.
  3. Record your tasks.
  4. Get outside.
  5. Make sure you disconnect.
  6. Give yourself grace.
  7. Rely on God.

Get dressed.  I’m not wearing the clothes I would wear to work but I’m not wearing my PJs either.

I love what Jon Acuff says, “I’ve worked from home for 7 years. Here’s some free advice if you never have. Start the day with a shower and then dress like you normally would for work. I love pajama pants too, but they’re a breeding ground for depression. Flannel feels like failure by day 3.”

Try to keep the same organizational tricks. For me it’s keeping a check list of what I need to get done that day in my work notebook.

Set up your work space so it’s similar to what you have in the office. I was able to bring my big monitor home so I wasn’t working on my little laptop.

I even have the same pens and such here.  And, I have some of the “comfort” items I usually have near me at work like hand sanitizer and lotion.

Oh, and use a stuffed animal stunt double for video conferences!work from home work station megan sarianI thrive with variety in my day. So, when I’m working from home day after day, unable to switch up my environment, some hours feel like a drag. In those times, it helps me to give myself credit for my big AND “little” accomplishments. I do this by recording each task I’ve completed throughout the day, even if it’s just “one email sent!”

Many people like the running to-do list and feel satisfied when they’ve checked things off. But on days when motivation is lacking, each to-do-list task can feel like a monster to tackle. And that’s often because ONE task actually includes 5-10 mini tasks.

For instance, “Complete instructional guide” might require me to email a bunch of people, research something, make edits and upload a document to a server. So, give yourself credit for those little things. They’re not little! They’re accomplishments. They’re work. They’re you being awesome.

Read more from Megan SarianI think I would tell people who are new to working from home- give yourself grace. Working from home is going to look and feel different than work in an office, so give yourself time to adjust to the differences and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t adjusting as well as you may have liked.

harmony niphakisUnderstand that it is normal for people working from home to feel lonely, disconnected, and easily distracted.

There are ways to manage each of those challenges, but give yourself time and give yourself grace.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor 12:9

Read more from Harmony Niphakis
Stick to a schedule. Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, eat at the same time. Start and stop work at the same time.

As much as possible, keep distractions (phones, tablets, spouses) in another room.

Schedule time for social interaction. Especially if you live alone. This can be a virtual coffee break or lunch meeting, making sure to say hi to a team member in the morning, and letting coworkers know you’re available to chat.

Likewise, try to schedule “office hours” and non-office hours. Having a time when you know you can power through things uninterrupted is important, just as is letting your team and family know when you can be reached.

Have good natural lighting. Weather permitting, spend some time working outside, take a walk if you’re brainstorming, or keep a window/door open.

Read more from John HawkeMake sure you disconnect. Some days it can be difficult to emotionally and mentally disconnect from my day at work.
On those days I:

Galina HitchingShut down my computer.
Walk outside and stand in the grass.
Spend a couple minutes just looking at the grass, the sky, listening to the birds.
Breathe slowly, deeply, and pray asking the Lord to cleanse my heart and mind from all the stress of the day.
Walk back inside and yell out, “Honey, I’m home!” (even if no one is home!).

It may sound ridiculous, but each of these things helps my mind and body go through the process of transitioning and separating from the events of the day. When you work at home, it’s easy to always be working. It’s important to have boundaries and do what you need to do, to “come home” at the end of a work day.

Read more from Galina Hitching

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