COVID-19 / Remote work

6 tips for working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic

Working from home for the first time? A little advice from this pro.

Working remotely? (Photo by Pexels user Pixabay used under a Creative Commons license)

World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, a pandemic.

Meanwhile, Delaware announced its first presumptive case of the virus and the University of Delaware is cancelling classes through March 23, with online classes scheduled when the semester resumes. Due to a staff member recently returning from overseas travel, the Community Education Building in downtown Wilmington (home of Kuumba Academy and Great Oaks Academy charter schools) will be closed until March 16. The governor’s town halls are now virtual.

On Twitter, #CancelEverything is trending.

While employees are not required to stay home and work remotely in Delaware at this point, you might choose to go remote for a bit if it’s an option.

But if you’re not used to working remotely from home, it might also be a major adjustment. It could sound like a working staycation, but if you want to be productive, it’s better to look at remote working as regular workdays with different scenery.

As a remote worker myself — I normally work both from my home office and The Mill — here are a few tips for getting work done at home:

1. Don’t sleep in.

This is going to be really tempting, especially if you’re used to a commute. I won’t lie, I’ve stayed in bed until five minutes before the start of the work day, and it’s an easy way to throw your whole day off. Get up at the regular time and do your regular before-work routine (including getting dressed). If you have extra time from the lack of commute, enjoy it over a more relaxed breakfast instead of in bed.

2. Find a quiet place.

If you don’t work remotely regularly, you may not have a designated work space at home. Your bedroom isn’t ideal for a home office, but if the alternative is a common room with other family members or roommates doing their (distracting) things, it will have to do. Preferably there is somewhere other than the bed to work.

3. Designate breaks.

If you take breaks at noon and 2 p.m. at the office for lunch and coffee, take the same length breaks at noon and 2 p.m. at home.

4. Schedule and organize.

Even for people who work at home regularly, keeping a strict schedule can be a challenge. Days when things are all planned out are always more productive.

5. No TV.

There are people who work at home who claim they’re productive with the TV in the background. They’ve learned to tune it out like white noise — but it’s better to use an actual white noise app or low background music if you can’t work in silence. Putting on cable news with its 24-hour coronavirus coverage is only going to be more distracting.

6. “Clock out.”

I break this rule from time to time, but, at five o’clock (or whenever your regularly leave work), close the laptop, stop taking calls and shift to family/home time. Working at home doesn’t mean you’re always on call.


To stay on top of the current coronavirus updates, go to’s COVID-19 page. If you’ve traveled to China, Italy, Iran, Japan, or South Korea within the last 14 days, call the information line at 1-866-408-1899 (TTY at 1-800-232-5460) or email

Series: How to Work Remotely / Coronavirus

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


How to encourage more healthcare entrepreneurship (and why that matters)

Find out what type of heat wave you’re really in for with NOAA’s HeatRisk dashboard

Tech Council of Delaware to reveal new strategic plan next week

How AI can revolutionize education's quest for truth

Technically Media