Before the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home may have sounded like a fantasy to some who had never experienced it: staying in your pajamas while emailing from the comfort of your sofa, all while avoiding rush hour commutes and the smell of your coworker’s lunch in the communal microwave.
But after a year of the kitchen table becoming your desk, it can feel less like the work-from-home dream and more like you are living at work. If your laptop-on-the-couch posture has left you with back pain, you have virtual meeting fatigue and you’re sick of your kids and your cat also being your coworkers, it may be time to reset.
These are my top five tips for being as productive and peaceful as possible while working from home.
Try to find somewhere in your home that you can use specifically for work. If you do not have a designated office, maybe there is a or a corner where you can set up a card table or an entryway where you can add a chair. If working from home seems like your reality for the foreseeable future, consider investing in converting an area like a large closet into an office. Designating a space for work will help give you balance when you are living every part of your life in the same space. No matter what, NEVER work from bed -- that’s a recipe for snoozing on the job. Plus, we want to associate being in bed with happy things only.
Just like you would if you were going to the office, get dressed every morning before you start work. Wearing a fresh new work-from-home outfit will put you in the right frame of mind -- but just simply the act of putting clothes on your body can help wake you up. And since you will likely see your coworkers on video meetings, you may want to make an effort to do your hair and makeup too. It’s all about feeling like a professional version of yourself, even in your own home.
3. MORNING ROUTINE
Build in time before the work day really gets going.. If you’re expected in a virtual meeting at 9, don’t roll out of bed at 8:55. I wake up two hours before my work day starts to go through my morning routine. Give yourself some time to get ready, tidy up, read the news, sip some coffee or tea, eat breakfast -- whatever makes you feel fresh, focused and ready for the day. Plus, it’s easier to wake up in the morning when you have something enjoyable to look forward to, not just the meetings on your calendar.
Hint to making this one work: GO TO BED!
Even once you’ve set up a work-friendly space, it’s still easy to get distracted at home when a package is delivered or the dog barks or you notice a junk drawer that could really use tidying up. Give yourself deadlines in your job to make sure you don’t act on those fleeting distractions. Try turning off the notifications on your phone and computer while you finish a task. Set a timer for a certain period of time, then when it goes off, give yourself a break by eating a snack, taking a walk or scrolling through social media for a few minutes.
5. LOGGING OFF
Ending work on time can be harder than it sounds when work life and home life are so intertwined. But make an effort to log off at the time you would usually leave the office. When the clock strikes 5 -- or whatever time you’re usually done -- wrap it up. Of course, do not leave any projects outstanding that are due that day. But if you have met all your deadlines, make notes of things you need to pick up on the next morning, clean up your space and turn off your computer. Because working on-and-off throughout the evening blurs boundaries, achieving a balanced work from home lifestyle becomes harder and harder. No good work gets done when you are hangry or tired. Your performance takes a hit.
Remember, finding the right work-from-home routine can be a process. Don’t stress if you haven’t gotten in the groove -- just keep making adjustments. And keep an open line of communication with your managers and coworkers to make sure their expectations and your routine jibe.
These are all tips and tricks that work well for me -- I have even become more productive working from home than I ever was in an office. But comment below to let me know any of your own work-from-home hacks!
Until next time,
Co-Founder Rezort Collection