Full disclosure: We're optimists. With the whole Toad team reporting from dining room offices and couch calls, we're right there with ya on the pros and cons of working from home (PROS: immaculate sock drawer, more family time, no commuting / CONS: constant snacking, technical difficulties, anxiety pangs).
No one likes forced change, BUT we're trying to see this "great indoor migration" as just another adventure... albeit, one where pants and shoes are entirely optional. So here are our tips on how to work from home effectively and HAVE MORE FUN.
1. Watch "The Office"
Missing water-cooler culture and that coworker who always drops random trivia? (Shoutout to Lucinda and her Hungarian Empire facts!) Turn on a steady stream of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton Branch. Nothing gets you through a WFH day like Michael Scott's conference meetings ("Make friends first, make sales second, make love third. In no particular order"). Stream all 9 glorious seasons on Netflix...all day, every day. In no particular order.
2. Work Less Hard
Mental health = productivity. If you're distracted and stressed by deadlines, homeschooling, restless dogs, and generally living in a bubble, then take an extended fiver. Go on a walk, roll around on your floor, get really invested in the shower grout. Whatever gives you the mental space you need. Giving 80% in quarantine really is good enough. So file that under "Working from home tips for success and productivity."
3. Cookies = Brain Power
This is just science. Just as you catch more bees with honey, give yourself some incentives when you feel the WFH burnout. Fresh baked cookies, another slice of banana bread, a little Baileys for your third Zoom meeting of the morning...we call these "benefits of working from home." Enjoy it while it lasts, and get this recipe in cookie rotation.
4. Trade Spaces
That tip to "make a dedicated workspace" is bologna. We say change up your spaces, change up your thinking. Here are a few more home office setup ideas:
Morning Office: Your bed. Must have coffee and furry creatures.
Coffee Shop: Your kitchen. Stand at the counter with your second cup and fire off those quick little to-dos. Do some squats while you stand. Break for lunch and go on a neighborhood walk. Keep that 6 foot buffer!
Afternoon Office: Your dining room. Spread out, make a mess, get those creative juices flowing. For the next two hours you are a genius.
Happy Hour Office: Your deck/patio/stoop – find an outside space. Make yourself a quarantine drink (we like Ina's style) jot down tomorrow's to-do list, and call it a day's work.
5. Quarantine Bingo
Some people call this "setting daily goals." We call it Quarantine Bingo. Make a grid, write an easy goal in each box, and tick one off per day. Some goals: smile at yourself, go upside down, send a postcard, spot wildlife...you get the point. Not really a true "work from home tip," but clearly it's not ALL about working.
6. Dress for
Newsflash: success is not contingent on what you wear (And we make clothes, so we're experts on this). Here's our work from home style tip: Dress for JOY and the success will follow. If pants don't bring you joy right now, forget 'em. If you want to put on a spring dress and blast ABBA (just us?), you go right on ahead. CHOOSE JOY.
7. Take a Safari
Both literally and figuratively. Every sunrise and sunset, check our WildEarth's safari live stream. Seriously – it's bananas. It's also a great reminder that nature is thriving and will be even more glorious when we finally emerge from our dens. And remember, the same tips apply to both Safari and work from home safety: keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. Keep that social distancing up, friends!