Tips for Working From Home

Here at PLUS QA, we pride ourselves on providing in-house testing services. There are many benefits to working together, and we normally have over 70 employees working on-site. However, as COVID-19 reached Portland, we realized that we had to prioritize our team’s health and safety. A few weeks ago, we asked our entire team to work from home until the current situation improves. 

We recognize that we are lucky to have the opportunity to work at home, but it can be difficult to get settled into a new way of working. Here are our tips for how to stay productive and motivated during this time.

Create a Workspace  icon of a desk with a laptop and mug

Studies show that if you designate spots in your house for resting, eating, and studying your brain recognizes those areas to complete specific tasks. This demonstrates how important it is to set up and designate an area in your home for working. 

Setting up your workstation on the couch in front of the television can provide too many distractions and not enough structure for working. Finding and setting up the right space is a great way to ensure you are comfortable and productive while working from home.

image of workstation, with an iMac, a keyboard, a mouse, a plant, and a picture frame

Stick to Standard Hours icon of a person working at a desk, with a clock behind them

Keeping standard business hours while working from home ensures you have access to help from your team and keeps you mentally motivated and on track. It’s important to maintain a work-life balance. 

In addition to start and stop times, it is also important to maintain a standard lunch break and other short breaks throughout your day. These short breaks help you refresh your mind and provide you the opportunity to get out and moving.

image of a working clock made out of legos

Set Household Expectations icon of three people under one roof

Unless you live alone, it’s important to set expectations with your household. For instance, if the door is closed, do not disturb; let your housemates know that just because you are home, it doesn’t mean they can act as though you are off the clock.

Stay Connected icon of a computer with an instant message on it

While working from home, messaging systems can become an essential part of your workday. As a result, it’s important to keep these conversations focused on work. Make sure you are sensitive to other’s time and work schedules. Keep conversations direct and to the point, so you and your coworkers can work without too much interruption. It’s also important to be mindful of your tone. Since face-to-face communication is limited, it is still important to communicate in a way that is respectful.

Maintain Meetings icon of a computer with multiple people on it in a conference call

Meetings should still occur while working remotely. In fact, meetings are a great way to continue to interact with your co-workers while working from home. Take meetings as an opportunity to connect with each other via video chat. 

Meetings should be held in a video conference so that everyone can still connect and see one another. This is important so everyone maintains a team mindset. To make sure video conferences are productive, meeting organizers should provide an agenda to keep the meeting and team on track. 

Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, Blue Jeans and Uberconference are great resources during this time.

image of an iMac with four people on the screen, doing a video call with Zoom

Dress Well icon of a nice shirt

Studies show that if you dress and take care of yourself for the day, you are likely to outperform someone who has not taken the time to dress for the occasion. Do not feel the need to dress in a full suit, but take the time to change out of your pajamas to work for the day. Setting a routine to get ready in the morning as though you are coming into the office can help you perform better, and also create a great routine so you can start your day strong!

Keep a Routine icon of cycle; from an alarm clock to a shower head to a toothbrush

Set a routine that is easy to follow. Will you wake up and make breakfast? Will you shower in the morning before you sit at your workstation to start your day? Will you have an early morning workout session? Whatever your daily routine may be, make sure you set a process and stick to it.

Stay Healthy icon of a person with their arms and legs outstretched with fruit and veggies around them

Sitting at home for prolonged periods of time can be detrimental to your health in various ways. Make sure to get out in the sun and fresh air and take a walk. In addition to exercise and movement, maintain a healthy diet as well. 

Now is a great time to find some exercises online that you can do from home. For example, these stretches are specifically designed for those who work from home. Another great resource for staying active is the Nike Training Club App. NTC provides free workouts for everything from bodyweight-only sessions, invigorating yoga classes, targeted training programs, and full-equipment home workouts for all fitness levels.

 

Here are some additional lists of top workout apps:

https://www.businessinsider.com/best-workout-apps

https://www.verywellfit.com/best-fitness-apps-4173707

https://www.techradar.com/best/home-workout-apps

We hope these tips and tricks help you to stay on track while working from home. They’re working for us; and with these practices in place, we are able to continue working and supporting our clients with their testing efforts.

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Women's International Daynotepad and laptop are on a table and are being used to execute test cases