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Alumni Advice: 8 Ways to Improve your Work from Home Experience

March 30, 2020

Blog — Alumni Advice: 8 Ways to Improve your Work from Home Experience

4 min read

Sennah Yee

Marketing Coordinator at Juno

Juno College

We know, working from home has its perks - but it can have its hurdles too! Last year when our renovations kicked off at Juno College, we also implemented a pilot program for our team. We started with one work from home day per week. Luckily, this gave us lots of practice. But, with COVID-19, many people are working from home for extended periods, and many for the first time. Whether you’re new to working remotely, or have had some practice like us, we know how hard it can be to dive into.

Here at Juno, we want to make sure you’re set up for success and developing good routines, no matter where you’re located. That’s why we chatted with our Juno Alumni who have experience with working remotely - here are some of their favourite tips on staying productive, happy, and connected!

1. Mornings Matter

Whether it’s taking a shower, going for a jog, or just changing out of your PJs, try to start off your mornings with a routine to clear your mind and gear up for work. Ian McIlwain, Juno Alum:

“Getting dressed in the morning like you’re going to work can make a big difference. It’s so easy to just roll out of bed and go straight to your desk sometimes, but that doesn’t lead to the best working mindset.

2. Keep Commuting (well, sort of!)

We love this tip from Juno Alum Nate Ebel, who likes to “commute” when working from home. Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, then go take a walk, bike, or get a coffee. Then when you get home, you’re “in the office.” At the end of the day, do it again to reset and “go home.” This is a great way to make sure you’re switching between a “work” and “home” mode!

3. Set up your Space

Your work setup should be comfortable, ergonomic, and organized. Make sure your chair has good back support, consider investing in a monitor and/or an ergonomic mouse, and keep your workspace clean.

If you have the space, also try to make sure you’re working away from where you watch TV, eat, or sleep. Having a dedicated work space will make it easier for you to both mentally and physically step away from work when you’re done.

Juno’s CTO Brent Charbonneau recently spruced up his home workspace - check out the before and after!

Brent's work from home office setup

4. Book your Breaks

With less incentive to go for coffee or lunch breaks, we know how easy it is to lose track of time at home and spend hours sitting down without even realizing it. Book your breaks (especially lunch!) in your calendar to make sure you make time for yourself. Walk around the block for some fresh air, call a friend, read a chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to finish - anything to give your body, brain, and eyes a break from staring at a screen!

5. Working from Home =/= Living at Work

Laura-Louise Tobin, Juno Alum:

“There is a very fine line between working from home, and living at work.

Striking a healthy work-life balance can be even harder when working from home - you may find that you’re working more at unconventional hours, or finding it harder to stop at the end of the day. That’s why it’s extra important to check in with yourself and avoid burnout. A Juno Alum recommends setting alarms for lunch, and for the end of your work day to stay on track!

6. Stay Connected and Collaborative

Working from home, especially for long periods of time, can be lonely and isolating for some. Make sure to carve out time to reach out to your co-workers, friends, or family. Keep the spirit of collaboration and teamwork with regular check-ins and brainstorming sessions. Pencil in a virtual coffee break over video conferencing apps - at Juno, we love Whereby for our team meetings, and Zoom for our Live Online courses. And take time to unwind over your lunch break - our Juno Alumni recommend online party games such as Jackbox!

7. Eliminate Distractions

Staying focused and productive can be hard when working from home - we know how easy it is to fall down internet rabbit holes, get lost in a gaming break, or get caught up in a funny group chat! If you’re finding it hard to focus on your work, try to find the root of your distractions. Maybe you need to set timers for your breaks, or put your phone in another room while you work.

Another great idea is using productivity apps! Some of our Juno Alumni recommend Focus Matrix and Pomodoro Timers. Our Team also uses Asana and Lattice to stay on track of our tasks and goals.

8. Be Kind to Yourself

Our last, and possibly most important tip is to be realistic and kind to yourself. Working from home takes a lot of self-discipline. Some days will feel more productive than others; other days you may find yourself feeling more scattered than usual - and that is perfectly normal!

One of Juno’s core values is to always experiment & improve - we love thinking outside the box, coming with new ideas, and trying them out. We know that not everything will work, and we’re okay with that. This is a great mindset to extend into remote work. Focus on trying to find a routine that works best for your style, and sets you up for success.

Juno’s got your back

At Juno, we craft custom learning journeys that accelerate careers. We’ll tailor a learning path for you based on your interests, talents, resources and goals – and that training continues until you land a job making $50K a year or more. It doesn’t matter whether that takes weeks, months or years, we’re with you until you’re employed. And until we make good on our promise, you’ll only pay us $1. We know, we know – finally, a school that gets it. How it works

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