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Best Practices When Working from Home

At Fordham, we understand our people are critical to our success. We want to support your success as we all adjust to a new way of working. Our goal is to help you to feel as confident, productive and connected to colleagues while working from home, as you would on campus.

Here are 7 best practices to consider while working remotely:

1. Maintain your regular schedule. Follow your regular morning routine—whether that’s an a.m. sun salutation or a morning cup of joe and your favorite news channel—and “arrive” at work, even if it’s your kitchen table. Be sure to sign off for lunch and at the end of the day to avoid blurring the lines between your personal and work time.

2. Structure your day as if you’re in the office. You are your own personal manager. Without commitments such as in-person meetings scheduled to break up your day, it’s easy to lose focus. To stay on track, create your to-do list, including what you'll do and when you’ll do it throughout the day.

3. Choose a dedicated workspace. Dedicate a specific room or area in your home to work. Be sure your office floors are clear—watch that power and phone charger cords don’t pose tripping hazards and are clear of heating sources. Be sure the temperature (check your thermostat schedule!), ventilation and lighting in the room are adequate to work.

4. Set ground rules with people in your space. Before your day begins, share the work-from-home rules. For example, explain to family members or children that you are working and need to focus. Post your schedule on your refrigerator or hang a sign that says “do not disturb” during calls or for deep thinking.

5. Get outside to recharge. Research shows that getting outdoors can reduce levels of anxiety and stress. Fresh air and sunshine increase our levels of the mood booster serotonin, which also helps us feel calm and focused. So, schedule breaks throughout the day—take yourself or your dog for a walk. But remember, keep a distance of at least six feet from friends and neighbors. COVID-19 can be transmitted easily between people in close contact.

6. Connect with colleagues virtually. If possible, conduct meetings via video chat. While working remotely, communicating by email only can lead to feelings of isolation. Seeing colleagues’ faces, including their expressions and other non-verbal cues, are essential to human communication. If video chat is not possible, have real conversations with colleagues on the phone. Try inviting them to “lunch” via video chat or teleconference.

*Bonus tip: Remember to test your internet connection. Ensure you have a strong internet connection to avoid dropped calls during meetings and video chats. Work near your router to get the best signal.

7. Eat regular meals and drink plenty of water. Experts say each of us should at least drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated will boost your energy, help you stay focused and keep you from unnecessary snacking.