As many businesses have switched from in-office to at-home working, people are facing new challenges of how to work full-time from home. If you’ve been working from home over the past year and just can’t seem to get much work done, you may need some restructuring. Follow these 8 tips for working from home to maintain your mental well-being while making the most of your business day.
Giving yourself time in the morning to get up and get ready will make a huge difference in the start of your day. If you decide to roll out of bed and head straight to your desk to start working, you’re probably not going to get much done. Go ahead and make the extra effort to shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, and even put on makeup if that’s part of your normal routine. Getting ready helps break the barrier between working from home and working in the office. You’ll feel more productive and ready to get to work.
Now, getting ready is great for your productivity, but if you get right back in the bed to work, you won’t be getting anything done. Separate your work life and home life as best you can by creating a designated home office space. Your workspace doesn’t have to be in it’s own room, but separate it from your day-to-day normalities if you can. For example, if you eat dinner at the kitchen table, don’t work from the kitchen table. If you relax on the couch at night, don’t work from the couch. Set up an area with a flat surface to use as a desk, lots of natural lighting, and comfortable seating. Separating your home life from your work life is crucial to successfully working from home.
Holding yourself accountable to work your regular hours can be hard to do when working from home, but staying on a schedule can help tremendously. Define the line between working hours and non-working hours to establish boundaries with anyone else in your household. This way you’re not distracted during your work day, and are able to be present in your home life when the work day is over. Also, do not extend or shorten the hours you normally work, but stay on a regular, clearly defined schedule. However, don’t be afraid to take time off when you need it. Working from home is still “work” and everyone needs a little vacation for their mind every once in a while.
Distractions are all around us, especially when unsupervised and working in the comfort of your home. While purposeful distraction is necessary (taking small breaks throughout the day for higher productivity), unintentional distraction can lead to hours of making no process because of loss of focus. To minimize distractions, turn off the TV, keep your phone out of reach, and don’t take on any home projects during the work-week. However, if you want to throw a load of laundry in the washer or check the mail, feel free to do so. Quick distractions that get you away from your workspace for a few minutes will actually improve your productivity.
Keeping a clean working space, and home for that matter, will keep your stress levels down during the day and allow you to work in peace without distraction. You wouldn’t expect to walk into your office at work to find dirty dishes, scattered clothes, or disorganized papers flooding your desk. Keep your home clean and your workspace organized so you can focus on what needs to be done at work, instead of what needs to be done at home.
If everyone in your office is working from home and hasn’t ever done so before, you may have experienced some bumps in the road that could have been avoided with simple communication. Communication is key to an effective workplace and that’s no different when you’re working from home. In fact, it’s probably even more important when working from home. You’re going to face some unique challenges when working remotely for the first time, so be sure to communicate with your coworkers and managers often.
Socializing daily is important for your metal health, and when working from home, you can begin to feel a great deal of distance from the world of socialization. Regular zoom meetings, quick phone calls, and even having lunch with coworkers and friends helps keep you happy and motivated to continue working from home. If you’re not able to do much socializing during the day, talk with your family and friends when the workday is over to keep from feeling isolated and alone. You’d be surprised at how little time you can actually spend alone.
Not only is the transition from in-office to at-home working difficult, but the transition from starting work and ending work can be difficult as well. When going to the office, you had some time to prepare for your day. Give yourself time now as well by listening to music, your favorite podcast, or watching the news or a morning TV show. When you’re done working, do the same thing to transition out of your work day. Taking a walk, relaxing on the couch, or even taking a quick drive down the road can help reset your mind to personal life rather than work life.
At Lawrence Media Group, we constantly share tips and tricks for working professionals. For more helpful articles like this one, check out our blog!
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