A Checklist For Working From Home

Many leaders are discussing how to effectively work from home. So many that I’ve compiled a checklist. Please use this as a baseline to share, and add your thoughts in the comments.

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  • Do you have dedicated space to work in your home? 
  • Do you have structured hours to work and then to return back to home, family and self? 
  • Do you need a reason to shower, prepare, and show up on video with the camera on, clean up your surroundings for virtual meetings, and prioritize your day? If so, schedule “important” meetings to ensure you follow through. 
  • Do you feel good about the environment you show in the background for virtual meetings? It changes the dynamic when we can all see AND hear each other, please don’t diminish the value of showing up professionally (your input, you, and your environment) especially because you’re working from home.  
  • Do you have breaks built into your day so your brain and eyes can refresh and refocus every 60-90 minutes? 
  • Do you have the equipment you need to succeed in your home office? It’s time to level up, this isn’t going away. 
  • Have you made it okay to relax, get sloppier, and drift into other activities while working? Or, are you more focused and intentional because you are interrupted less? 
  • If you need more structure, think through the day’s activities, group them and show up. You can dress casually and not be sloppy in your presence or your space. 
  • Do you set yourself up for success by prioritizing what will make the biggest impact for you, your clients, your family, your team, and your company as you reinterpret how you work? 
  • Are you seeking ways to add value for the people in your world? At work and at home, this is a time when we can all add value, make a difference and do “those things” we never have time for. Are you doing them? 
  • If your mood is diminishing because the people you’re interacting with are working through tough situations, take a break and write down what you’re grateful for after your meeting. Don’t stop until you list at least 10+ things. Do this as many times as you need to in your day. 
  • If your mood is diminishing because you’re online too much. Disconnect. It’s optional, and you won’t miss a thing, I promise. 
  • Find reasons to initiate connecting with people. The people who you may not think need support may need it the most.  
  • Over communicate. With distance, we need to overdo it. If an email or text goes back and forth several times, pick up the phone or have a virtual meeting – you’re wasting time and energy. 
  • If you’re overdone on meetings, take a break. It’s okay to set boundaries and focus. 
  • If you’re juggling kids and others at home (your new co-workers), set up work hours and communicate them. You may need to get very creative with shared space. 
  • Organize virtual social gatherings (meals, happy hours, games, inspiration/upbeat/wins to share). 
  • Now that we’re not in the same space, we miss out on the chit chat, the small talk and day to day commentary. Reach out for no reason other than to catch up, it can be done in 5 minutes. 
  • Add music, light, change your location through the day, get outside and walk for 15 minutes three times each day instead of one long walk.  
  • Wake up and exercise. Most leaders are waiting to add it into their day, only it doesn’t happen as things erode and you fatigued mentally and emotionally. Prioritize yourself. 
  • Think of this change as a reset. A blank canvas to organize your work, self, and home by design. What do you want, and how can you make it happen? 
  • Make lists of all the things you want to do and never have time for. Do them. (At work, if you have time, take a look at your SWOT – you’ll be surprised at what you may be able to take on while priorities are shifting). 
  • Think of the people from work and in your world outside of work who you haven’t connected with, connect with them. 5 minutes is all it takes to let people know you care. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you. 
  • Find joy, reasons to laugh and celebrate. Amidst the chaos, there is peace if you allow it. Staying present and not worrying into the future will remind you that “this too shall pass.” 
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