7 Tips to Make Working from Home Work for You
At first glance, working from home might sound ideal, and it can be. But even with all the benefits, there are also numerous challenges.
As more people are asked to or choose to work from home, these seven tips can help make the most out of remote work.
1. Choose a designated workspace
When working from home, it’s important to separate work and home as much as possible. By designating a room specifically for working, you can create mental triggers to know that when you’re in that room, you’re working, and when you’re not in that room, you’re not working.
However, not everyone has an extra room they can dedicate to a home office. If that’s the case, designate some area in your home as a working area. It’s all about finding a spot where you’re focused enough to get work done, but not so comfortable where you just want to kick your feet up.
2. Find new locations to work
Working from home can become boringly repetitive. You sleep in your home, you eat in your home, you relax in your home, and now you work in your home. It’s very easy to catch cabin fever. By finding places in your community to work, like a cafe or public library, you can break up the monotony.
3. Put on real clothes!
Part of your morning routine should be putting on clothes. The last thing your colleagues want is for you to stand up during a video conference with pajama pants on. A lot of people also recommend actually wearing business or business-casual clothes when working from home to remind yourself that you’ve got work to do.
4. Create an end-of-the-workday routine
As important as starting your morning with a routine is, it’s just as important to end your workday with a routine. Set a time and regular steps you take to sign off for the day. Actually close your computer. Setting boundaries between work and leisure during off hours is as important as setting boundaries during working hours.
5. Schedule movement reminders
A lot of research has gone into how often you should take breaks to increase productivity. The Pomodoro Technique says to set a timer for 25 minutes to work on a task. When the timer rings, take a five-minute break, then repeat. After the fourth 30-minute period, take an extended 15- to 30-minute break.
When you take a break, try to completely disconnect from work. Close your computer, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, and try to escape work-related thoughts.
6. Get outside
After sitting in your house for a few hours, a breath of fresh air can really help re-energize you, both mentally and physically. Consider using your extended Pomodoro break to disconnect from technology and go for a walk outside.
7. Take sick days
If you’re sick, you’re sick. The best thing to do is to get some rest, both physically and mentally. Sure, working from home affords you the ability to physically take it easy, but work can be mentally draining, which can affect your health. Just because you can work from home while you’re sick doesn’t mean you should.