Due to COVID-19, society is working from home like never before. Many of us are not used to this lifestyle and it can be quite difficult to switch to. I know many who thrive off the office environment and being around their coworkers to stay energized and productive. My business is purely a work from home (or work from road) model, but one of my past jobs had a flexible working style where employees could work from home 2 days a week. This taught me many lessons on how to adapt to the home working routine and make it just as effective if not more so than being in the office.
Stick to a normal morning routine.
It’s easy to let morning productivity slip when you’re not used to a work from home lifestyle. Wake up, eat breakfast, take a shower, and get out of your pajamas. It’s completely acceptable to wear more comfortable clothes, but at least get out of the ones that you slept in. It’ll help you feel more energized and help change your mindset. Putting yourself together like you would when going into the office will also help with confidence and keep anxiousness or sadness at bay. If you’re cutting out a longer commute, lucky you! Use those extra 20-60 minutes for a bit of extra shut-eye, morning meditation, making yourself a better breakfast, or even a quick workout.
Establish a separate working zone.
I’ve made the mistake of working on the sofa too many times. It’s hard to resist. So soft, so comforting. But it’s not supportive for working on a laptop for 8 hours at a time. It also causes a sudden desire to watch television or take a nap. Establishing a home office or even just clearing a space at your dining table will give you the proper support your body needs and help keep out distractions. Separating your working zone from your standard living space will help you shut off your brain when work is over too.
Do not work past designated hours.
Please keep an eye on the clock and do not work past normal hours if you can help it. It’s so important to log in and out like you would at the office. This might even be a great way to more easily establish boundaries for a job that likes to keep you late. I’ve heard many people report getting all their work done and logging out earlier than normal at home instead of dillydallying around the office because they feel like they need to be there with everyone else. So once the day’s tasks are done, clock out, close the computer, and focus on “me time.”
Take breaks and move your body.
Just like with the previous tip, keep an eye on the clock and listen to your body. Remember to take breaks every couple of hours to go for a walk, stretch, or whip yourself up a delicious snack. Unless you usually have access to a gym near the office, this is a unique opportunity to do mid-day yoga without your coworkers staring at you funny. Breaks should be taken even when in the office, but it can be harder to get those steps in when you’re just at home. So being mindful of this as it’s especially important for your physical and mental health.