Working from home has become the new normal since the major COVID outbreak in 2020. Not everyone started working remotely in 2020, some people were working from home before the pandemic and they are usually folks who want to have more control over their work schedule and work environment. However, it can be challenging to stay productive when you’re not in an office setting. Managing your home life could also be another challenge.
I happen to be one of those people who worked from home for more than 3 years before the coronavirus outbreak and now permanently after the Pandemic in 2020. When I first started out I quickly realized that I’d need to change my habits and routines to make work from home life a success. Many remote workers have questions like, When does work begin and when does your personal life begin? how much interaction can I really have over zoom? While everyone may confront unique problems and also take different approaches to solve them. whether you’re a new remote worker or you’re just looking for fresh new ideas, in this blog post I will share 20 tips for having the best experience when you’re working from home!
- 1. Create a Pre-work routine
- 2. Set a work schedule
- 3. Get dressed for work
- 4. Create a dedicated office space
- 5. Schedule your Breaks
- 6. Set boundaries with family and friends
- 7. Check your phone only on your break
- 8. Use a separate phone
- 9. Keep your office space clean and organized
- 10. Keep a to-do list
- 11. Book the same calendar for Work and Home
- 12. Create a self-care routine
- 13. Set simple and realistic goals
- 14. Schedule virtual happy hours
- 15. Stay flexible
- 16. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for help
- 17. Take time off
- 18. Focus on the positives
- 19. Leave the house daily
- 20. Be kind to yourself first, then others
1. Create a Pre-work routine
In the spirit of inclusiveness, I will not assume that we all start work in the morning, so I refrain from saying a morning routine but it’s the same idea for any shift. For example, before I start working I have a little chat over tea or coffee with my wife and kids about the night and what they’re looking forward to for the day. we play a couple of songs from our echo show and I even bust a move every once in a while and then the kids are off to school and I get to work.
When my kids are off school I have a slightly different ritual which would work if you don’t have any children as well since they’re usually if not always sleeping in. I do my usual morning hygiene routine, start the meditation channel on my Amazon echo show, cook the family breakfast and then head off to work.
2. Set a work schedule
The traditional nine to five schedule is unrealistic in remote work culture. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can set your own work schedule. But with that said, it’s important to have some structure in your day so you’re not working all the time and start to lose track of time. I like to set a number of work hours for myself and take breaks in between tasks. This helps me stay focused and avoid burnout.
3. Get dressed for work
It may be tempting to work in your PJs all day, but getting dressed for work can actually help you feel more productive. while you don’t have to dress for traditional office settings, just have a different set of clothes for work. When you’re in work mode, you’re less likely to get distracted by household chores or personal errands.
4. Create a dedicated office space
It’s important to have a dedicated office space for work when you work from home so you can focus and avoid distractions. If you don’t have an extra room in your house, try a work from home setup in a quiet corner of your home and set your home office equipment there.
5. Schedule your Breaks
Especially your lunch break. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should be working all the time. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to move your body, stretch, or just take a few minutes to relax when you work from home.
6. Set boundaries with family and friends
It can be difficult to set boundaries with loved ones and other family members when you’re working from home. But it’s important to let them know you’re unavailable while you work from home so you can focus on work.
7. Check your phone only on your break
There are many distractions when you’re working from home, from the TV to social media. It’s important to find ways to stay focused on work. I like to set a timer for myself and work for a certain amount of time before taking a break. I check my phone during the breaks and I also set a timer for when the break should be over.
8. Use a separate phone
While I would not advise you to get a second phone number, you should definitely have a second phone just for work. instead of trading in that old phone, use it for work over WIFI. Most smartphones now have the capability for a separate work profile on your personal phone, I’m still not comfortable with the idea of using the same phone for personal and professional life.
9. Keep your office space clean and organized
When you’re working from home, it’s easy for your workspace to become cluttered. Make sure to keep your work area organized so you can stay focused and productive in your remote work life. If you can maintain a clean and clear space it’ll be easier to maintain a clear head when working remotely.
10. Keep a to-do list
To-do lists or a task list are a great way to stay on track with work. I like to make a list of tasks for the day or week so I know what needs to be done.
11. Book the same calendar for Work and Home
Find a work-life balance. the lines between personal and professional life are blurred sometimes when you work from home. Make sure to schedule time for yourself and your loved ones. if you have to pick up your kid from school during working hours just block the time on your calendar.
12. Create a self-care routine
Take care of yourself, When you’re working from home, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy meals, exercise, and get enough sleep. Schedule around your life not just work.
13. Set simple and realistic goals
Setting goals can help you stay on track with work. I like to set weekly or monthly goals so I know what I need to accomplish and prioritize. This helps me stay on top of my client’s hot button issues and get right to work once I turn on my computer.
14. Schedule virtual happy hours
Working from home can be isolating, so it’s important to stay connected with friends and co-workers. Attend optional meetings if it provides a networking or learning opportunity. Schedule video calls or coffee dates with friends and coworkers. Plan virtual team-building events. Even as a mildly introverted person myself, sometimes I just need to connect with other humans, besides, where else would I draw my energy from?
15. Stay flexible
Things will inevitably come up when you’re working from home. Try to be flexible and work around things that come up. I’ll say it again, schedule around your life.
16. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for help
If you’re struggling to manage work and life, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your boss or a trusted friend for support. Find counseling services provided by your employer or book your own therapist if you already work with someone.
17. Take time off
It’s important to take time for yourself when you’re working from home. Make sure to schedule time and not just for a vacation. Take time to do something you enjoy, such as reading or going for a walk.
18. Focus on the positives
Try your best not to negatively assume tones in email or text from your work colleagues when working remotely. While communication could pose a challenge, just remember your coworkers are also working remotely and facing their own unique challenges, especially if you haven’t shared these tips with them :). When you’re feeling positive, you’re more likely to be motivated and focused on your work. Additionally, maintaining a positive attitude can help build better relationships with your co-workers. People are more likely to respond positively to someone who is optimistic.
19. Leave the house daily
It is important to leave the home office and house every day, even if it is just for a short walk around the block. Getting some fresh air and sunshine is essential for our physical and mental health. Being outside can help to improve our mood and reduce stress levels. Taking a break from work or other obligations to go for a walk, play with a pet, or simply sit in the park can help to refresh and rejuvenate us
20. Be kind to yourself first, then others
We all have moments when we feel unworthy or undeserving of happiness, but it is important to remember that we are worthy of love and respect – both from ourselves and from others. Instead of beating ourselves up for our mistakes, we should learn from them and move on. Only when we are able to show ourselves compassion and understanding will we be able to truly be kind to others. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t be too hard on your coworkers.
Working from home can have its challenges, but it also has a lot of benefits. These tips will help you stay productive and connected while working remotely. Stay flexible, take time for yourself, and focus on the positives to make the most of your work-from-home experience.