I’m going to be honest; I was a little nervous about working from home on my co-op term. As someone who had gotten used to getting dressed in business casual clothing and heading into an office, I had no idea what to expect.
Fortunately, I loved my spring term at SAF as the marketing and recruitment associate! While there were some growing pains as I got accustomed to working from home, I feel like I learned a lot. And now, I’m going to share some of what I learned with you so your transitional period can go a lot smoother than mine did. Here are my five tips for working from home!
1. Find a comfortable place to sit
This one is so important. For the first month of my term, I spent most of my time on my bed up against four pillows I stacked up against my wall. My back killed. I highly recommend finding a comfortable chair to work at — it makes all the difference, and your back will thank you.
2. Take breaks, or you’ll become drained
You can’t be on all the time. I found that I started to lose focus after an hour or so of straight work. If you force yourself to push through, the quality of your work will suffer, but more importantly, you’ll drain yourself. Take a couple of minutes to go for a walk or listen to some music, or really, anything that you find relaxing. After your breather, head back to work, and you’ll find yourself way more energized.
3. Make sure you have non-work activities to do
In the same vein, when you’re off the clock, actually be off the clock. For a while, I always felt like I should be working. It would be like 10:00 PM, and I would tell myself that because I was at home, I should be getting stuff done. That’s not sustainable, and you need to be sure to give yourself some downtime. Find a hobby, see some friends (safely), exercise, or just take a good old-fashioned nap. You just need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
4. Two screens are better than one
Not long into my term, I got tired of using just my laptop. After I found a second monitor, I couldn’t go back. It streamlined my workday and helped me manage the multiple tabs and windows I had open. If you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend making use of a second monitor!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (or just to chat!)
By asking questions, you open yourself to learning opportunities and get to know your teammates a little better. When you’re working from home, it can be easy to feel isolated, but you are not alone! Your team is still there for you, whether you need some guidance, or are just looking to have a little human interaction.
So that’s my list! This past term was a blast, despite some of my stumbles early on. I hope you all have a great time on your co-op term, and hopefully, some of this advice was helpful for you!