How to Survive Working from Home
by Tiffany Gendron, CVT, VTS (ECC)
In the past 2 to 3 years, most professionals have experienced some form of remote working. This transition to working outside of a traditional office was driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the paradigm of work changes, more companies are adopting work-from-home policies and there are far more remote positions available in the veterinary industry than in years past. Clearly, this is multifactorial, but the meat and potatoes of it is that remote work is here to stay. Remote work may not be for everyone or every business, but if you are working remotely, it is essential that you learn how to work from home and live your life.
We have all likely had some blurred lines between work and home, and the reality of it is that is ok! For some great tips on work-life integration check out this extremely helpful webinar by Dr Mia Cary. There are some great tips that you can start to use today!
Let me tell you my story. I started remote work a few years ago and was thrown into it, like most, struggling through zoom calls, muted attendees and all the while trying to accomplish this with my 5-year-old and a 1.5-year-old boys. I know many of you can attest to this struggle, which now feels like a distant but lingering memory. I tried to put a positive spin on it and thought about the things I wouldn’t miss. No more 40-minute commute sitting in Boston traffic, swearing at the person who just cut me off, having to find a spot in the employee fridge next to the furry fruit. I was really excited about the flexibility of working from home. BUT, I did quickly realize the importance of setting yourself up to be successful and efficient both at work and at home!
Here are some tips that I have helped me survive:
- Create a space for yourself to work. Although the occasional kitchen table workstation happens, it is not always the best place to be the most efficient. Make an area where you are comfortable and know when you are there, it’s to get the job done! I have a comfy chair complete with a warm blanket, essential work needs (computer, monitor, external keyboard, and headset), and lastly Alexa because music helps set the tone for my day.
- Take breaks! It is ok to take a bathroom break and throw in a load of laundry, step outside, and get some fresh air. A brisk walk can not only benefit your health but allows time for clarity away from the screen. Some of your best ideas may come to you when you’re “not working.”
- Thank you, Robert Wang, for InstantPot. Let’s face it, whether you work remotely or not, getting a healthy dinner on the table with all that you have going on is HARD! This contraption was the best purchase I could have made, and a great dinner in 30 minutes or less IS possible. I also struggle with dinner monotony, and if your kitchen critics are anything like mine, you hear about it! I am a foodie and like good food too, but it is not always feasible to order out or eat out. So instead, I reach to these sites for some great ideas: Rainbow plant life and Pro Home Cooks both of which include Instant Pot Recipes.
- Lastly, make time for yourself whenever you can carve it into your day! It is imperative to make sure you make it a habit too. I have found that 6am gym classes work the best for me. I get a workout in before anyone else in the house is even up. I have mental clarity and am more productive and focused on the days in which I take care of ME first!
Find what works for you and find happiness in all that you do! Please remember that being present is just as important as it is to perform your work to the best of your abilities. Whether you’re hanging out with your kids at the park, doing a spin class, or taking your dog for a walk, enjoy that time and be present!