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5 Work From Home Tips to Fine-Tune Your Experience


Members of Elmhurst University's Weigand Center for Professional Excellence share their tips for being productive while working from home.

Along with many people in our communities, we’ve all had to adjust to working or studying full-time in a brand new environment—home.

That means sharing your workspace with “new” classmates or work colleagues, a.k.a., your roommates or family.

Needless to say, the new normal of working online in this new environment brings challenges and opportunities. You might be excited to have music blaring while you work or study. But by now you probably know whether the others around you share that excitement.

So, the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence (WCPE) pulled together some advice to help you keep adjusting to your new situation and help you be as productive as you can be.

Tip 1: Communicate

When you think about it, you can’t communicate enough, even in normal situations. Now that you can’t just pop by your friend’s dorm room or your co-worker’s office, you really need to step up the amount of communicating that you are doing. Take advantage of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack or Skype to make it easier to communicate. And remember, if you think you’re over-communicating, you’re probably not.

Self-Check: Can you accurately and succinctly convey and interpret thoughts and ideas through digital messages?

Tip 2: Be Disciplined

If you’ve ever taken an online class, you know what we’re talking about. Discipline is the key to your success. Your first thought about working in your home environment may have been “freedom!”

Well, by now you know the truth: It’s really on you to make sure that things get done. When working in your home environment, you can’t rely on some of the things you typically do to make sure that you stay on task. For every person, it’s a little different. But for many, getting into a routine and making priority lists are the keys to success.

Find whatever works for you, and do it.

Self-Check: Are you in control of your own time, tasks, and energy?

Tip 3: Be Positive

Being concise and direct in your communication is important, but you don’t want to sacrifice tone, especially during this difficult time. Everyone is a little on edge. If you’re too short and concise, you can come across as insensitive.

Make sure your communication is also as positive as it can be. Even if you think you’re being overly positive, you’re not. So, if you typically shy away from using exclamations or emojis in your communication, now is a good time to start using them 😄.

Self-Check: Have you read through your communication with an eye toward empathy?

Tip 4: Take a Break

Working in front of your computer all day can be taxing, and it can really impact your productivity. Make sure you take the time to get away from your workspace.

Take lunch outside if it’s a nice day. Or take a quick walk during your break and get some fresh air and natural light. It not only makes you feel better, but it’s also better for you.

Self-Check: Is your body telling you it’s time to get up and move around?

Tip 5: Be Mindful

The current situation we are in has created more stress and worry in our lives. One way to combat that stress is to try practicing mindful meditation.

It’s a conscious effort to become aware of your surroundings and combine this with meditation.

To begin, just find a comfortable place where you can relax and clear your mind. Meditation is a practice you can begin anytime, anywhere, by closing your eyes and connecting with your breath to clear your thoughts and focus on the quiet.

Self-Check: Do you feel like you are having trouble focusing on your work?

Get More Career Advice

The Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence (WCPE) is ready to help, whether you are a current Elmhurst student, Elmhurst alumni or are a prospective student. We will help you define your career goals—and go after them. Email us to find out more.

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Posted May 11, 2020

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