To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, companies around the globe have switched to remote work. Some people are veterans at working from home but others are facing this challenge for the first time. For them, it is important to figure out how to work in a new environment without sacrificing productivity and losing sanity, especially since the new “home office” will become a norm for a while.
Personally, I love working from home. I enjoy the flexibility, autonomy and comfort of working in your own space. Throughout the years, I have developed a few habits that help me stay productive even when working at home. Recently, I also came across and tested a couple of new habits and they really worked!
To help combat the “work from home” crisis, I want to share a handful of habits that help me during the day:
Developing a routine 🔁
I know I might sound like a control freak but just before going to bed I list down what I am going to do tomorrow. I start the day just as I would if I went to the office: get up early, get dressed, work, have some breaks.. Setting up a schedule and having a routine provides you with a structure for the day, brings clarity to it and helps you stay motivated. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. This also goes for meals, work, sports, family time.
Developing a work schedule 📆
Set out realistic goals and list out the tasks you want to complete during the day. Try to stick to it. It will help you be productive and feel like you have achieved something at the end of the day. Also, it will prevent you from overworking, which is so easy now that your home is also your workspace. If you work longer hours to complete a project, make sure to compensate the next day by taking some time off.
Setting up a workspace 💻
I hope that most of you have already done this, but it is really important to set up a proper workspace. Try to work only there – avoid working from the sofa or bed, because, first, it will kill your back and neck after a couple of days and, second, you will start having trouble separating work from life. It is important to still have some areas in the house for relaxing, creative thinking and family time. Which takes me to the next point…
Getting dressed for work 👕
It does not have to be a shirt and tie, but get dressed before starting to work. You can wear your casual clothes, but not the ones you use for resting in the house. Changing your clothes helps to change the mindset from working to resting, which might become a challenge once you do everything at the same place. Once you switch off the computer, change back to your home clothes – this will mark the moment you are “coming back home”.
Using video during calls 📹
Human interaction is essential right now, so try to put on the video as much as you can when making calls. This is why you got dressed for work anyways, right? Seeing people will help you understand their emotions and feel connected. Also, a pro tip – if you do not have to stare at some documents, try to walk when having calls 🚶♀️ I managed to walk a few kilometers at home just during the calls.
Making use of your commute time 🚗
Most of you have probably saved an hour or so that you normally spend commuting to and back from work. Make use of this time! Wake up early and do some yoga, spend time with your family, start working earlier or focus on personal growth.
Making use of the extra time ⏰
Now, you have a lot of spare time, if not after work, then during the weekend. Try to make something good out of it. Rather than watching Netflix, read books that you never had time for, reorganise the house or your closet, cultivate a hobby you have forgotten or enroll in an online course.
Eating healthy 🥦
Obviously, this is always important, but now, when you spend the majority of your time at home and do not move too much, it can be a game changer in your energy and productivity. Avoid snacking too much, overeating and stress eating – it is super easy to lose control when your fridge is just around the corner. Try not to be greedy and eat your fruits and vegetables.
It goes without saying that exercising is important for your body. If you live close to nature, maybe you can sneak out early in the morning for a walk or run. If not, there are a lot of amazing Youtube channels and sports applications that are free. My favourites are Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and Nike Training Club app. Kudos for Alexa for showing it to me last May!
Meditating and reflecting 📔
If you are stressed and confused right now, meditation can be very helpful. Headspace has actually launched a free meditation course to help tackle the crisis. If you are not into meditation, you can start writing a diary to help you make sense of what is going on. This is especially important if you are living alone.
Spending time with your loved ones ❤️
Now, you probably have a lot of spare time, so why not use it for your friends and family. Even though you might not be able to see them, send them a message or give them a call. If you had a lunch, dinner or outing planned, move it online. It can help you feel connected and strengthen the bond with the people you love.
A lot of these things might seem obvious, but once combined, they can help you become a pro at working from home! If you have some tips that were not shared in the post, leave them in the comments section – let’s help each other combat the crisis.