For all those out there in the workforce who are experiencing a crisis like this for the first time, I just want to say that I’m right there with you. I entered the workforce in 2015 after graduating from college, which means that I missed the 9/11 crisis and the 2008 market crash. In this unprecedented time, I think it’s easy to despair and lose hope. I want to write a word of encouragement to all of my fellow millennials out there that are working from home and might be feeling like fish out of water (even if you won’t say it).
In this pandemic, I have seen a few things about working from home become abundantly clear:
1. It’s a Blessing and a Curse to Work From Home
Yes, you can wake up later, attend meetings via phone in your sweatpants, and you have the kitchen at your disposal 24/7. But on the other hand, you’re waking up later, you HAVE to attend meetings over the phone or video call, and you have your kitchen at your disposal. Catch my drift?
2. Working From Home Is Fun…for the First Few Days.
I don’t know about you, but I was all for working from home…until I wasn’t anymore. Recently, I’ve realized that I miss the chance to get out of the house and have my morning drive to work while listening to the news. I miss the connections and comradery built from working in the same office as my peers. And mostly, I miss the ideation that happens by working in close proximity with other sharp individuals.
3. Try to Recreate a Routine
I’ve realized how much I lean on the external structures I have put in place for success, and those are proving hard to replace. My work, exercise, relational, and spiritual lives have all taken a hit by being locked inside my house.
Working from home has proved to be more challenging than I expected, but I think there are some pretty good ways to keep yourself focused and feeling positive. My encouragement and advice, for myself and others, is this:
4. Set a Schedule
Following in the same train of thought as the above tip, setting a schedule can be helpful for your transition to working remotely. Set a time when to wake up, when to workout, when to get work done, and when to get your lazy butt to bed. Routine is important, and there’s no reason to abandon it.
Don’t forget to set a time to stop working. I don’t know about you, but keeping a work/life balance sometimes feels impossible, so having set “work” hours and set “home” hours can help you figure out when to check-in and out.
5. Overly Communicate
Check-in with people, call, text, facetime, whatever works for you…just do it. Keeping in touch with loved ones can always lighten your load, and sometimes it can offer a change of perspective.
6. Prepare as if You’re Going into the Office
Shave and get dressed, and for goodness sake take a shower. It is easy to be lazy and get less done when you don’t get dressed and ready for the day.
7. Set Daily Goals
Set daily attainable goals and then let someone know so they can hold you accountable (boss, friend, co-worker, or even spouse). Keeping yourself on task can be hard, but having someone help you stay focused can help you get everything accomplished.
8. Try to Recreate Your Work Environment
Do you have the TV on while you work at the office? Then you probably shouldn’t have it on as you work from home. If you can, set up a dual monitor. Your productivity will skyrocket.
9. Find a Separate Space
Set some separate space aside for you and your spouse/roommates to get work done. I’ve found that my productivity increases when I have a set workspace.
10. Give Yourself a Few Breaks
Just like you do at the office, take breaks as you work from home. Go for a walk, read a book, learn a new skill… TV is great but taking some time for other activities has brought me more energy and positivity.
11. Be Careful of Your News Consumption
Don’t be on a news app/alert system 24/7. It will drive you crazy. What I’ve been doing is a quick read through in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening so I know what’s going on, but I don’t feel overwhelmed.
At the end of the day, this is just a season. I, for one, want to look back on this time while wearing my “I Survived Coronavirus 2020” shirt and feel like I accomplished something. I want to be playing the guitar in 15 years and remember that the reason I learned guitar in the first place is that I was trapped inside for weeks, and I didn’t let that get in the way of me living my life. This is not the time to be proud, it is the time to be humble and lean on others for strength, friendship, and accountability. Keep fighting the good fight!
CPG Recruiting from Versique
If you or someone you know in the CPG industry gets caught up in a layoff during this crazy time, feel free to reach out. We would love to have an initial conversation. Here at Versique, we work in many industries and functions across the CPG umbrella. We would love to be a resource for you!