Working from home is a phenomenon that’s been around for quite some time. Some people absolutely love the freedom and flexibility it gives them while others don’t like that aspect of it because they prefer to work in a more controlled and structured environment. Well, for those who typically commute to the office for their jobs are now being forced into virtual work since the emergence of COVID-19. Some people are enjoying this opportunity and others are having a hard time getting adjusted.
The thing about working from home is that people do it for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent who’s juggling your business and parenthood or maybe your office building is undergoing renovations that have forced all employees out temporarily. Whatever the case may be and whether you like working from home or not, there are ways to make sure you’re being just as productive at home as you would be in the office.
Being productive and getting your work done is your work goal at the end of the day, right? Of course, but that can sometimes be hard, especially if you don’t have all the necessary resources or tools or if you have constant distractions like your kids, pets, visitors, etc. All of those things can indeed make it hard to be productive working from home but it’s important to understand that staying healthy, physically and mentally, is just as important as getting your work done.
It’s all about creating those boundaries between home life and work life. Whether you’ve been working from home or are having a bit of a hard time getting adjusted to it due to the recent health crisis, here are some tips to keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy while working from home.
If you’re going to work from home, whether by choice or from recent circumstances, you’re going to need to set yourself up for success by creating a great home office. You’re going to need a comfortable desk and chair to enhance your posture and help you focus better, storage, and necessary supplies handy.
If you don’t have a home office, you want to at least have a designated area to dedicate to working. Most people who don’t have a designated office, use their kitchen tables as their designated work area because it can withstand their monitor/monitors, keyboard, and mouse as well as hold storage and other supplies.
If normalcy, in reference to productivity, was one of your worrisome areas, all you have to do is maintain your normal work hours the same way you did as if you were going into the office. If you would normally clock-in at 8 am, then you may want to get up around 7:30 am to start brewing your coffee, turning on your computer(s), etc.
The idea is to understand that the only thing that’s changed is your location of work… You should most definitely try to maintain your normal work hours. If you work 8 am to 4:30 pm, then at 4:30 pm, you need to be clocking out from your job and shutting down your computer just like you would do if you were in the office.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should neglect your scheduled breaks. When you were in the office, if you normally took a 15-minute break at 9:30 am, then you need to still take your 9 am 15-minute break working from home too. According to psychologytoday.com, taking breaks can significantly improve your productivity levels and enhance your focus.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have distracted breaks too. When you’ve sat in front of your computer for a few hours, it’s helpful to get distracted for a bit. Maybe you hired lawn care services in Kansas City for your lawn care needs on a rotating schedule… If they happen to be cutting your lawn while you’re working, that’s the perfect time to take a break and step outside to take in the smell of freshly cut grass.
What lots of people don’t know is that the smell of freshly cut grass can boost your mood and even help you to live longer and can do wonders towards your productivity working from home. The bottom line is that any kind of “distracted” break is fine but it’s recommended to not utilize social media as a “distracted” break simply because it’s another form of screen time… It’s just not the same type of screen time as looking at your computer. But ultimately, you have to do whatever will help clear your mind from work temporarily.
One of the biggest complaints people have about working from home is the isolation aspect of it. Some people enjoy office politics and banter between coworkers, regardless of whether it’s stupid or not… they simply enjoy the social aspect of it. Working from home takes that away, in a sense.
If you’re someone who enjoys the social aspect of a work environment, you still have the ability to be social with your coworkers, just not in a physical environment. With most telecommunications positions, they utilize some form of virtual communication through chats.
If you’re at home longing for your coworker buddies to talk to, shoot them a quick message saying hello and to see how their day is going. Sometimes that little message to check on each other is the very thing that will make your day better and to help you enjoy working from home a little bit more.