As someone who has been working from home for a few years now, I totally understand the struggles that come with remote work. While it can be liberating to have the flexibility to work from your own space (and get snacks whenever you want!), it can also be challenging to stay productive and focused. That’s why I’ve put together a list of ten essential work from home tips.
- Work from Home Tips – How to Work Effectively from Home
- Work from Home Tips – What Not to Do When Working from Home
- The Best Two Days to Work from Home
- Is Working from Home Healthier?
- What Do You Miss the Most about the Office When Working from Home?
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Work from Home Tips – How to Work Effectively from Home
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is creating a work environment that supports productivity and focus. Here are some tips for setting up your workspace and routines:
1. Create a designated workspace
- Creating a workspace that is separate from your personal space is key to being productive while working from home. Whether it’s a spare room, a corner in your living room, or even a closet converted into an office, make sure it is a space that you can associate with work and that you feel comfortable in.
- I also curated a list of some home office must haves from Amazon. Read it here!
2. Stick to a routine
- One of the benefits of working from home is that you have the flexibility to create your own schedule. However, it’s important to stick to a routine to maintain productivity.
- Set a start and end time for your workday, and try to maintain a consistent schedule.
- Be sure to take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.
3. Stay organized
- Clutter can be a major distraction and can make it difficult to focus.
- Keep your workspace organized and tidy by decluttering regularly and investing in storage solutions. This will help to reduce stress and increase productivity.
4. Communicate with your team
- Working from home can be isolating, but technology makes it easy to stay connected with your colleagues.
- Reach out to your coworkers even if it’s just to stay in touch!
- You can use video conferencing for meetings and online team building.
5. Minimize distractions
- There are endless distractions when working from home, from social media (hello scrolling on TikTok) to family members and pets to household chores staring you in the face (laundry anyone?). To stay focused, set boundaries for yourself and others.
- Try using website blockers if you find it hard to focus.
- Turn off notifications on your phone to reduce distractions or use focus mode.
6. Take breaks and move your body
It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just a short walk or stretch! Plus, it can help prevent burnout and boost productivity.
7. Set boundaries
- It can be tempting to work around the clock when your work follows you home… literally. Your work laptop may be going off, your phone may be ringing, or maybe your desk is sitting five steps away from your bed. I’ve been there. But it’s important to establish boundaries.
- Set a start and end time for your workday. You might not always be able to stick to it, but try to commit to your times.
- Avoid checking emails after work hours.
8. Use technology and tools to stay organized and productive
There are many productivity tools and apps available that can help you stay on track and organized. Some of my favorites are:
- Focus To-Do (a Pomodoro timer)
- Google Calendar
9. Prioritize self-care
- Working from home can make it easy to neglect self-care, but it’s essential for maintaining good mental and physical health.
- Don’t forget to:
- Take breaks to stretch and move your body (see number 6!)
- Eat healthy meals
- Take time for relaxation
10. Experiment and find what works for you
Finally, it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. Everyone is different, so it’s important to find a routine that suits your personal needs and preferences. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and see what works for you!
Work from Home Tips – What Not to Do When Working from Home
While it’s important to establish positive habits and routines when working from home, it’s equally important to avoid negative behaviors that can hinder productivity and mental health. Here are some things to avoid:
- Don’t work in bed or on the couch: Working from a comfortable spot can be tempting, but it also makes it harder to stay focused and motivated. It’s best to stick to your designated workspace.
- Don’t let household chores distract you: It can be tempting to multitask and try to tackle household chores during the workday (like laundry!), but this can lead to a lack of focus and productivity. Try to save non-work tasks for after hours or limit them to scheduled breaks.
- Don’t work 24/7 or neglect self-care: It’s important to establish a healthy work-life balance and prioritize self-care. This may mean setting boundaries around work hours and taking breaks throughout the day.
- Don’t forget to communicate with colleagues and managers: Working remotely can sometimes feel isolating, so it’s important to stay connected with colleagues and managers. Make sure to communicate regularly via email, video chat, or other channels.
The Best Two Days to Work from Home
If you have the flexibility to choose when you work from home, you may be wondering which days are best. While it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and work schedule, here are some factors to consider:
- Traffic and commute time: If you live in a busy city or have a long commute, working from home on days with heavy traffic or bad weather can help you avoid a stressful commute.
- Meeting and collaboration schedules: If your work involves frequent meetings or collaboration with colleagues, it may be best to work from home on days when those meetings are less frequent.
- Other obligations: Here’s a few more questions to consider when planning out your work schedule. Do you like to take exercise classes after work? What days do you normally run errands on (grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc.)? Do you have kids and if so, do they have activities that you need to take them to?
- Personal preferences and routines: Ultimately, the best days to work from home are the ones that work best for you and your personal preferences and routines.
Is Working from Home Healthier?
Working from home can have both positive and negative effects on physical and mental health. It all depends on how you do it, which makes my 10 work from home tips even more important. Here are some potential benefits and drawbacks:
- Reduced exposure to germs and illness: Working from home can help reduce exposure to germs and sick people, which can help keep you healthier overall.
- Increased flexibility for exercise and self-care: Working from home can provide increased flexibility for exercise and self-care, which can have positive effects on physical and mental health. This is actually one of my favorite parts of working from home!
- Reduced stress from commuting: This seriously is one of the BEST parts of working from home.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Working from home can sometimes lead to a sedentary lifestyle, because you’re sitting all day and not walking around the office. This can have negative effects on physical health, so it’s important to prioritize movement and exercise throughout the day. One of my favorite ways to do this is with the walking pad I have.
- Blurring of work-life boundaries: Working from home can sometimes lead to a blurring of work-life boundaries, which can lead to increased stress and burnout.
What Do You Miss the Most about the Office When Working from Home?
While working from home has many benefits, there are also things that I (and other people) miss about the office environment. Here are some common things we miss:
- Social interaction with colleagues: Many people miss the social interaction and connection with colleagues that comes with working in an office. Water cooler chats, jokes with coworkers, and happy hours are all things that disappear unless you’re intentional with your work from home plan.
- Separation of work and home life: For some, the office environment provides a clear separation between work and home life, which can be harder to achieve when working from home.
- Access to equipment and resources: Some people miss the ease of access to equipment and resources that comes with working in an office. Before, if you needed some paper or a new cord, it was easy to grab supplies from the supply closet. With work from home, there’s a bit more steps/bureaucracy involved.
In conclusion, working from home offers many benefits, but it can also be challenging. By establishing a dedicated workspace, sticking to a routine, taking regular breaks, staying organized, communicating with colleagues, avoiding distractions, prioritizing self-care, and setting boundaries, you can stay productive and maintain mental health. Remember to experiment and see what works best for you, and you’ll soon find a productive and enjoyable work-from-home routine. You’ve got this!