Working From Home: Tips, Tricks, & Transitioning Back to the Office

how metro edge can help with your job searchFor many of us, working from home has become “the new normal.” At least for now. For some, this may have already been the norm. But for most of us, working from home is something we are all still adjusting to. With schools closed, working from home now includes little to no childcare and homeschooling. Five Zoom calls scheduled at once, math class, board meetings, a hungry toddler, a barking dog, shaky WiFi, life’s everyday distractions- quarantine has tested us all. Read these helpful tips, tricks, and transition recommendations to help stay afloat now and as the world begins to open up once again. 


Easier said than done, I know. Having a routine, even if it isn't always followed, can make a huge difference in your productivity. If possible, try to maintain your usual morning routine as if you were headed into the office. This will allow you to get into a head-space worthy of working for 8+ hours from the comfort of your home. Maintaining a routine is said to decrease stress, help cope with change, form healthy habits, and make room for all that is important. 

Keep a Daily To-Do List and Set Goals

This could be part of your daily routine: form a daily checklist. Whether you do this at   the start of every day or as you wrap up your evening and prepare for tomorrow, making a to-do list will set you up for success. Your to-do list could be long term projects or just daily tasks. Regardless, setting goals for your day will create a sense of productivity and achievement for you. 

Pencil in some ‘YOU’ Time Each Day 

YOU are important! Schedule in some time each day for you! Whether it’s a work out, a lunch break, watching your favorite show, walking around the block, listening to your go-to podcast, or reading your favorite publication, take time to schedule those things each day. If you have kids at home, this can be done during their Zoom class, their nap time, or with them! Whatever it is that will make you feel whole, find a little time each day to do it. 

Designate a Workspace 

This one is pretty simple: make a space in your home that is used strictly for work. Having a separate space for work will allow you to retain focus on your tasks at hand. This will allow your mind to connect with your work each day and your productivity will increase. By simply having a space set aside for work, you will naturally block out any distractions while in this space. Similar to muscle memory, your brain will begin to associate this space with productivity and achievement. 

Keep Distractions Minimal 

This might be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish while working from home. Kids, pets, laundry, home-school, house projects, online shopping, roommates, partners working from home, cleaning. The list goes on. Following all of the helpful tips above will assist in minimizing distractions at home. Set yourself up for success. Turn off your television. Set the kids up with their Zoom class instructions. Save house chores and errands for off-work time. Try and create an environment as close to work as possible. Good luck, this one is one of the toughest! 

Some of us will be working from home for the unforeseeable future or permanently regardless of the fact that the country is slowly reopening. As life begins to go back to “normal,” or a “new normal,” and offices start to re-open, some of us will be transitioning back to the office. Make sure you approach the transition thoughtfully. Now that we are a few months into sheltering-in-place, some of us have grown accustomed to our new way of life. Or we are starting to find our footing. Make sure to have these conversations with your boss and your work community. Transitioning back to regular hours in the office may not be easy for everyone but it could be coming in the next couple of months. Try your best to be transparent, adaptive, and understanding when the time comes to head back to the office. Gather your thoughts, create a plan, and have those conversations. 

This is a guest blog post by Sarah England. Sarah is the Community Programs Coordinator for Raley's. By day, she leads partnership development and external communications for Raley's Community Giving as well as the company's non-profit, Food For Families. When she clocks out, you can find her spending most of her time outdoors, cooking, and enjoying time with friends and family. Sarah is a member of Metro EDGE, where she sits on the Communications Committee, and is learning the ropes to manage the EDGE blog.