There are many benefits to working from home. Perhaps it’s something you’ve always wanted to try. But now that you’re finally at home, you may be thinking, This is harder than I thought!
If you find yourself struggling with your new situation, that’s totally normal. While some personalities may be more naturally suited to working from home, it is still a skill that must be learned. The key is going to be setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and communicating those boundaries with others.
Mostly this means that you and your team need to stick to some kind of a schedule that you can share with your family and church leadership. You need to know when you all plan to be available for collaboration and when you’ve set aside time to focus on individual work.
Office life used to do a lot of that for you. Now it’s up to you. But if you focus on getting these three pieces right, you’ll find your days more productive and less stressful.
You may think, Great! This is my chance to work in my pj’s as I’ve always wanted! But that’s a slippery slope, my friend. You need to get up at a regular time and get ready like you normally would. You don’t have to wake up super early or wear your fanciest pants, but it will help you feel prepared for a productive day if you’re presentable to the public at a reasonable hour. You’ll be ready for that video call if someone asks—and you won’t embarrass yourself by accidentally showing off your superhero pajama pants! 😬
Have lunch. Don’t skip it because you’re busy, and don’t snack on junk throughout the day. You need to take breaks, and that includes lunch. It doesn’t have to be much. In fact, it’s probably best you plan ahead. It should be something nutritious and easy to put together. You don’t want to cook a Sunday dinner on a Tuesday. So warm up some leftovers. Open a can of soup and make a sandwich. If you’re super organized, you can meal prep on the weekends, so all you have to do is open your pre-made lunch box and enjoy.
Just as it’s important to get up and start your day like you normally would, it’s also important to have a set end time to your day. You’ve got to have a system for signing off and shutting things down so working from home doesn’t drag into your personal time. Take a moment to review your day and set your to-do list for the next day. Then take the kids out in the yard to throw a frisbee for a bit. Or go for a walk with your spouse around the block before dinner. In ministry, emergencies will arise from time to time, but the regular day-to-day work needs to have limits.
Even those who regularly work remotely are wrestling with major shifts in their workload and routines these days. Give yourself and your team some grace as you make the transition. Productivity may drop temporarily, but you need to trust your people. They will adjust to their new normal in due course, and you’ll find your rhythm as a team again soon.