Written by WWCode HQ
Finding balance, with your personal and professional life existing in the same space, is a challenge. The key is to learn, not only how to separate different aspects of your life, but how they can work to support one another. Whether you have a family or it’s your first time working remotely, we have tips to help you make the most of your time working from home.
If You’ve Never Worked Remotely
If you’ve spent your career at a traditional office job, working remotely can feel like a big adjustment. With a few tweaks to your normal routine, you can be just as successful working from home.
- Maintain a Schedule: When your office is in the next room, it’s tempting to sleep all day and work when you feel like it. If you build a regimented schedule, it will help you stay focused and put your mind in work mode.
- Make Time for Yourself: It’s easy to work longer hours when downtime and work time blend together. Plan time in your schedule for relaxation so you can unwind, feel restored when you get back to work, and be fully engaged in whatever you are working on.
- Get Dressed!: Even though no one can tell you’re wearing pj’s on your Zoom call, getting dressed like you are going into the office helps you get into the professional mindset.
- Stay Connected: Spending most of your time at home with limited social interaction face-to-face is a big change for many people. It is normal to feel isolated and caged up in your home. Staying connected with your co-workers, whether that’s Zoom Happy hours or fun-themed slack channels, will help you feel part of a community.
If You Have a Family
You may have kids running around, elder family members asking questions, or extended family staying with you. It can be challenging to balance taking care of your family and yourself, so we put together a few hacks to help you get through it.
- Let Them In: Do your kids crave the limelight and act out on it by constantly popping into your Zoom calls? Let them do it! Seeing a 5-year-old’s smiling face is a reminder to your coworkers that is okay to bring your full self to work.
- Share With Others: Everyone’s lives are different right now. By sharing what you are going through with your co-workers, it opens a door to be more connected and have a deeper understanding of each other’s lives, which leads to better communication and collaboration as a team.
- Put Yourself in Their Shoes: You aren’t the only one going through this. If you are new to working from home, your family will have to adjust to your schedule and routine too. Putting yourself in your family’s shoes allows you to understand how to find a balance that works for everyone.
- They Are Your Strength: Why do we do it? For our family. Find strength in the people around you and the people you care about, as they can be the strongest foundation.
If Your Whole Team is Suddenly Remote
Most teams spend some time together in person, so shifting to fully remote can be a bit jarring. It will take adjustments to find a new workflow that works for everyone.
- Experiment with Communication: It’s easy to become disconnected from your teammates when you aren’t physically sitting next to them. Find new ways to communicate such as creating new slack channels and setting up Zoom calls for casual conversations.
- Use the Extra Time: Without commuting, waiting in line at Starbucks, and for elevators, you’ve gotten back your most precious resource — time. Use that time to do things that bring you joy, satisfaction, and make the best of your situation.
- Try Out New Tools: Technical tools are crucial when working remotely. Make yourself familiar with the communication tools that your company uses. You might find tools such as response reminders, away messages, and automated answers help your daily workflow.
If You Are Looking For a Job
Finding a job from home can feel daunting and without an end in sight. While the process for finding a remote job is different than the traditional job hunt, with a few changes to your process, you’ll find yourself a few steps closer to landing your dream tech job.
- Know What You Value: By thinking about what is important to you and what gives your life meaning, you’ll be able to find the intersection of what you are good at and what a company will pay you to do. Don’t just look for a job, look for a role that will make you fulfilled.
- Develop New Skills: Now is the perfect time to explore and learn new skills that you are interested in. Enroll in online classes, attend webinars, and learn everything you can about the path you are pursuing. Women Who Code has a great repository of technical content on YouTube, as well as live events where you can expand your technical knowledge.
- Online Job Boards: Online job boards are an excellent resource, especially if you find one that is specifically tailored to helping you meet companies that you want to work for. The WWCode Job Board currently has over 80 professional opportunities available from some of the top tech companies.
- Networking: Experts say that 70–80 percent of all new hires are made through an interpersonal connection. Therefore, your community is one of your greatest assets to finding new opportunities. Use every medium you have available to stay connected, and lean on those you know for support.
If You Feel Alone
- Take a Deep Breath: We are all in this together. Whether you’re isolated in quarantine or just facing a new employment situation, you aren’t alone. You have a network of people that want to help you. Reach out to them, strengthen those bonds, and work to help others as well. You’ll get through this.
- Pick up the Phone: This is something we don’t do much anymore but it can really help. Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts are all ways to connect with others and gain a sense of normalcy when feeling isolated.
- Connect: Your support system isn’t limited to your inner circle. Contact people that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Get back in touch with old colleagues from old jobs and just chat. You’d be surprised by the benefits of just having a conversation with someone you used to know.
- Meditate: Sometimes getting to know yourself is the best way to get to know others. Take just a few minutes each day to be mindful. Think about yourself, your life, and the moment you are existing in. That will help you relate to yourself, and through that, to others, and you might find a whole new world opening up to you.
Work and home have traditionally been separated. But nowadays technology and circumstances have converged to allow for many of us to work remotely. Finding the benefits and wins will allow you to create a balance that can elevate your life.