How to Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind
Snack breaks and boundaries are your friends.
As the new coronavirus continues its romp around the globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended “social distancing” as one way to combat the spread of disease. So far in the United States, that’s meant the canceling of conferences like Facebook's F8 and anticipatory Costco raids by Covid-19 preppers. Companies like Twitter and Square—which share Jack Dorsey as CEO—have now taken the next logical step of asking employees to work from home whenever possible, and more could potentially follow their lead. As someone who has worked remotely for nearly a decade, I am here to tell you: It's not easy. But setting some boundaries will go a long way toward keeping you sane.
Yes, working from home has its perks. You’re always there to accept deliveries. You can play whatever music you want as loudly as you want. You don’t have to abide the loud chewing or ungracious smells of your colleagues. But you also have to contend with the Scylla and Charybdis of isolation and distraction. Loss of productivity feels less urgent in the time of coronavirus. Spend enough time working alone, though, and you may start to lose your sense of self.
So! If your employer has asked you to stay home, here are some strategies for keeping it together, gleaned from someone who’s been doing it since “slack” was mostly a verb. Note: This is not a guide to responsible prepping, washing your hands, or scavenging Purell, although by all means do those things. It's mostly a reminder to draw bright lines between work and the rest of your life. It also draws on my own experience, so it hopefully goes without saying that your mileage may vary.
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