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Here’s a question for you. Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or finding it hard to focus and get things done now that you work from home? If so, I can relate. Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard so many of you talk about the reality of working from home. In fact, I’m finding that there aren’t too many of us stuck at home with nothing to do.

In reality, it looks more like this:

  • I have to get on six Zoom calls in a day and then get to the rest of my work.
  • I’ve been working longer and harder hours now than ever before.
  • I’m not sure if my direct reports are working on the right deliverables.
  • I feel isolated and lost even with the different ways to connect with technology.

I get it. The work from home thing is not for everyone. 

But there are ways to make it easier. After working remotely for 19 years, I found my groove when I set ground rules for myself, allowed myself to work when I was most productive, and allowed for distractions to tap creativity (but no TV).

Here are five articles that will help you make the best of today’s remote work environment, including ways to work from home and stay productive, maintain connection with others, and practice self-care.

1. Three elements for successful virtual working.

This article by MIT Sloan Management Review shares the history behind the work from home trend that started in the 80s, evolved in the 2000’s and is now seeing another evolution today. It then goes into three key elements for success: prepare to experiment with technology, reimagine the home work space, and embrace a daily ritual. The article also discusses what the future of remote work might look like.

2. Three ways to manage conflict when you work remotely.

As this article by Fortune mentions, 41% of remote workers feel stress these days. That’s not surprising. Another fact that’s not surprising, conflicts among coworkers is also on the rise. This article shares three strategies for dealing with conflict when you work remotely. The most important strategy here is to communicate with intention. Listen for a response and then respond directly to the issue at hand.

3. Nine TED talks for leaders managing remote teams.

This article from The Enterpriser’s Project shares nine TED talks that focus on the challenges a remote work environment can cause to teams. It includes topics that cover having better conversations, engaging co-workers with respect and kindness, work-life balance, and procrastination.

4. Three tips to avoid WFH burnout. 

This is an interesting article by Harvard Business Review that discusses how boundaries can slip as we move our professional lives back home to our personal environments. We’ve all had that experience of receiving an email off hours and feeling compelled to answer. These days those boundaries have become even more of a blur. This article shares three tips on how to strengthen those boundaries and regain balance.

5. Seasoned experts have advice for WFH newbies.

Here’s an interesting article from Inc. that shares common complaints about working from home, and how to deal with some of those issues. The article breaks down into three areas: productivity, communication, and self-care. It then gives helpful explanations of ways people may struggle and how to deal with those problems. In addition, Fingerprint For Success recently conducted and published this extensive research on the mental health issues many employees face during the COVID quarantine. The bottom line — pay attention to your mental health.

If you want to make the best of this work from home situation, I recommend three things:

  1. Establish the time you want to finish your day and stick to it the best you can.
  2. Know your kryptonite (for me it was television) and stay away from it until your day is finished.
  3. Allow for distractions that will stoke your creativity – puzzles, organizing, or art – but keep it under control.

Also, if you’re like me and millions of others out there working from home with a pet who can’t get enough of you, check out this article from Fluent Woof. It provides great tips for establishing a daily work routine for you and your pet.

 

Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in ForbesThe Huffington PostAddicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.

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