Working from home for the first time can be challenging. You might be struggling with everything from getting proper sleep to boundary setting. Today, we wanted to shed some light on some crucial tips that will help anyone who is working from home. Specifically, let’s share some work from home tips that will make work less stressful.
1. Create A Work From Home Space In Your House
Part of the appeal of working from home for some people seems to be working from the couch or bed. Your bed or sofa can be a place to work from home if you have no room. If you have the room, we encourage creating a space specifically for working from home.
Setting up a cheap desk that’s devoted to working from home will help the other parts of your home feel more relaxing. It’s hard to work from the same place that you relax every day. Protect the spaces you relax in every day by setting up a specific area to work from home. Make sure the area you choose to work from home in is acceptable for a video call and spruce it up with some inspiring pictures or a plant. Your time spent working will be smoother if you like working there.
2. Make Getting Dressed For Work A Priority
Working in your pajamas feels like the dream, but it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You will be more successful when working from home if you take a few minutes each morning to get dressed and wear something that makes you feel confident. When you feel confident, you get more done.
You don’t need to wear a dress or a suit to work from home, but getting out of your pajamas in the morning will help you start the day with one small win. Once you have tackled getting ready, you’ll be more prepared for video calls, and you’ll feel happier because you did something.
3. Don’t Start Your Day By Putting Out Fires
When you work from home, it’s easy to feel the need to jump into your day immediately. You might jump directly into answering Slack messages or any emails that came in overnight. Stop. Instead of starting your day by putting out fires or answering a million messages, start your day by doing something that makes you happy. Read a book, drink coffee, watch a video on YouTube, or journal.
Think about it, when you went to work every day, you had some time for yourself. You had time to listen to your favorite podcast or stop by the local coffee shop. You can still listen to a podcast or grab some coffee before work when you work from home. Protect that time you gave yourself every morning. It’s even more critical now.
4. Start Meal Prepping So Fixing Food Throughout The Day Is Easy
When you work from home, it can be easy to forget to eat throughout the day. Whether you find yourself snacking frequently or not eating enough, meal prepping can help you. Take your time at night or over the weekend to prep out meals and snacks for your days. Set daily reminders on your phone to remind yourself to eat various meals and snacks. Setting a schedule will help you eat, and as your body gets used to that schedule, it’ll remind you too.
The food we eat is essential while working from home. Food helps your body move and think so that you can get work done. Even if you feel like you are in flow, take a break to eat. You might be even more productive if you ate regular meals.
5. Remember We Are All Expending A Lot Of Mental Energy Right Now
If you are stressed while working from home, you might feel guilty. You might be telling yourself, “Who am I to feel upset right now? At least I get to work from home.” This line of thinking isn’t helpful for anyone.
We are all expending a tremendous amount of mental energy to deal with COVID-19. Simple activities that used to take no energy at all are now depleting us and making it difficult to focus. You must remember the unprecedented times we are in right now. If a task takes you a little while longer to complete or you struggle to finish your to-do list, give yourself some grace. Encourage other members on your team to cut the entire team some slack during this time. You don’t want anyone on your team to get burnt out.
This is one of our favorite work from home tips right now because this is a new time for all of us.
6. Take Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day
We are not meant to work for eight hours straight. When you are in the office, you manage to take breaks, and you should do the same thing at home. You must take a lot of intentional breaks. You might need to break to look after your kids or feed the dog, but you also need intentional breaks throughout the day. Make some room in your calendar every day to take breaks, so it feels like you are actively choosing to step away from work throughout the day.
7. Check-In With Your Colleagues Throughout The Day
Another thing you get to do in the office is chat with your colleagues. When you work from home, it’s more challenging to spend time with your colleagues and check-in with them. Make some time in your schedule each day to check-in on Slack, have a video co-working session, or send your team a funny video you’ve seen online. This time spent with your colleagues each day will make you feel less alone as you’re getting work done.
8. Create Boundaries With Anyone Who Is Home With You And Colleagues
Boundaries are essential when you work from home. You can’t set boundaries for a full eight hours, but you can at least set a few “do not disturb” times around when you are most productive. During these times, ask that anyone who is home with you only disturb you if there is an emergency. You can put a sign up on your door to signify that you’d like to be left alone.
When it comes to boundary setting with your colleagues, let them know that you’ll be treating certain times throughout the day as do not disturb times. Turn your phone on do not disturb during these times, and don’t check-in with colleagues or your email account.
We need as much uninterrupted work time as we can get to get in flow and focus mode. It’s okay to let the people around you know that you need some time to get to work.
9. Don’t Use Working From Home As An Excuse To Work More
Working from home doesn’t mean that you’re working all the time. You can and should close your laptop or turn off your computer after the end of a long day.
If you want to take more time off, you need something to do during that time off, so you don’t go back to work because you’re bored. Create a list of activities that you can do away from your desk. Here are some examples:
- Take the dog for a walk.
- Read a few chapters of a book.
- Work on a puzzle.
- Watch a show on television.
- Make a great dinner.
- Talk with your family using video chat.
Create this list and keep it close by each day. Having a list of after-work activities will make you more likely to take time off at night. When you have your list sorted out, there are no more excuses. You’ll always have something to do after work.
10. End Your Day By Setting Up Your Next Day
After the workday is done, close down the computer and set up your next day. Write out your to-do list for the next day, clean up your work station, set out the clothes you want to wear tomorrow, etc. Create a routine that helps signify the end of the workday so that you can move on from work and enjoy a television show, cook dinner, work on a puzzle, or whatever you want to do.
Conclusion: Which Work From Home Tips Will You Use?
Working from home can be a challenge, especially if this is your first time doing it. Right now, we have an added layer of difficulty because we are working from home during a global pandemic. Hopefully, these work from home tips gave you some food for thought on how to run your workdays now that you are working from home.