Since my last blog post, things have quickly changed around the world, and many of us are adjusting to social distancing by staying home. Among the social distancing memes and remixes of Cardi B’s views on coronavirus, there’s one acronym we’re seeing a lot more of: WFH, also known as Working From Home.
At first, WFH seemed like a stay-cation! I’ll admit, I was initially excited to stay in my pajamas all day and work from my couch, but with each passing day, I’ve realized I crave the structure that I normally find in my work environment. That separation between home and office is necessary for me to be productive (and sane!) Of the countless articles offering ways to make the most out of the days when you feel a little stir crazy, a few caught my attention. The Morning Brew posted their guide for “living your best quarantined life,” and one of our favorite blogs here at The Packaging School (The Dieline) shared their best tips for keeping sane. Inspired by this hot topic, I’ve decided to share my own WFH tips and tricks!
Make your meetings meaningful.
Those of us on the team here at The Packaging School have a recurring virtual meeting at 9 am every day to prioritize our tasks and check in on one another. To keep it short and sweet, everyone answers these three questions:
- What was something significant you did yesterday?
- What is something significant you plan to do today?
- Are you stuck on any projects?
By sticking to an agenda, we’re able to talk about the most important projects on our plate without getting off-task—something that’s much easier to do when you’re not in the office!
Work on your professional and personal development.
With the majority of the world saying goodbye to the dreaded workplace commute, people are seeing more downtime in their day. Not only are we avoiding traffic jams and rush hour standstills, but parents are also gaining back the time spent driving kids to school or sporting events. So, if you find yourself wondering what’s the best way to fill up that free time, look beyond that television with its never-ending supply of binge-worthy shows and take this as an opportunity to focus on YOU. We can all use this time wisely by working on bettering ourselves, personally or professionally. Ivy League schools are offering FREE online classes and of course, there are a ton of packaging courses available online in our course library to stay sharp or brush up on topics that aren’t your forte.
On a personal note, I’ve been using this extra time at home to learn to cook and create wonderful meals with my roommate!
Thankfully, we live in a digital age, so many of us can get our work done with the help of the internet. Technology allows us to work from home now more than ever, and even before social distancing was the norm, many people were already “WFHing.” According to Glassdoor, there are currently over 72,000 WFH packaging jobs!
During all of those Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex meetings—keep the camera on. It might be awkward at first, but it is the best way to connect with your team and see their smiling faces. In this current reality, our only contact with coworkers might be through a webcam.
Technology is also bringing us wonderful opportunities to exercise our physical bodies. Working from home is definitely a challenge for some, but exercise can be a convenient stress reliever. As I was lamenting to my friend about how boring it is to work out in my small living room, he suggested switching things up. “When I need a change of pace, I either switch up the workouts I do or the time of day I do them. I normally exercise after work, but now that I’m home, I [make time] in the morning.” Many workout studios are also offering free, virtual classes that you can check out here. As my fitness instructor said during our Instagram live workout, “let’s get quarantine buff, not quarantine puff!”
To wrap up my personal tips and tricks, I’ll leave you with what may be the best one on the list: stay positive! If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that communication styles and environments have a huge impact on how we all work. But, I think we can all gain valuable experience from this WFH trial we’ve been given. Whether you’re working from home for a few weeks or the foreseeable future, one thing is apparent—we can and we will overcome the obstacles that are thrown our way. Writer, Emma Zeck, has some powerful words of wisdom that are helping me keep my spirits high. “What you can do instead is observe this pause as an opportunity.” So, I challenge the readers of this blog to do the same. Instead of having a bleak outlook, view these circumstances as a chance to create art, do things you love, or learn something new. As for our team, here’s a look at how we’re using our time working from home: