For many people, including me, working from home has been a rewarding experience. I got rid of my jammed commute and invested that time in wellness and family instead.
The main challenge I faced, was staying efficient despite not moving much from home.
Let’s be honest -- it isn’t easy to stay focused when working “with home”. I mean you not only work from home but with all that happens to be at your home then. The many things that need to be done, potential family members sharing the space, a pet? You get it.
On the other hand, staying at home has also been a lonely experience at times, and dealing with its own emotions and mood swings without anyone to interact with spontaneously can be tough.
Depending on your personality, this may result in neglect of our physical and sometimes mental wellbeing or the opposite and getting all in on self-development and hyperactivity. So how can we try to keep a sort of balance?
Stick to your routine.
Even when you’re working from home, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule.
Start your day as you would in the office. Set a specific time for the start and end of your workday.. I have found myself working longer hours and being out of balance which obviously has a negative impact on yourself and the people surrounding you.
Create an ergonomic workspace.
If possible, avoid working in the living room or your dining area. It’s best to create a corner or, if possible, a separate room as your workspace. It really helps to focus on your work and limit distractions. I also found that spending all day and then personal time in the same space was too much time in that same space. I ended up really needing to escape.
To achieve a comfortable and productive workspace:
- Invest in ergonomic furniture and eventually partitions for increased focus.
- Add good lighting and plants to improve your mood. You may also place a few art pieces or listen to soft music to keep you focused and boost your creativity.
- Check out these 6 easy tips for a biophilic workspace.
Since you’re working from home, it’s expected that your family members are also at home. Set boundaries by creating simple rules. Inform them about your work hours and, as much as possible, tell them to refrain from interrupting you within those periods.
Discipline yourself to stay off social media or other phone apps that were designed to grab your attention as much as possible. Remind yourself of your goals or simply put your phone away from your reach.
Stay connected with your workmates.
Time flies and you may spend all day without talking to anyone unless you are on Zoom all day. With all the different communication tools available, it’s easy to at least spend 5-10 minutes chit-chatting with family or colleagues, and not just about your tasks but also what’s happening in your personal life.
Find out your high productivity periods and schedule your heavy tasks during those times. You can create a task list, use a planner, or make a vision board to help you organize your deadlines and to-dos. There are also task management apps to help you become more efficient at work, especially with your team’s workload.
Take a break.
Your brain and body need some time to relax, so take those occasional breaks in between work to do something for yourself. You may want tostretch for a while, go out for a walk, play with your kids, or grab some snacks. These short breaks are necessary for your mental health so you can refocus on your work tasks.
Prioritize your physical health.
Don’t take your health for granted. Be sure to eat healthily, sleep well, and exercise. If you do these three things, your body will be more fit and ready for work.
Stress is inevitable, whether you’re working from home or in your office. To alleviate stress, many experts suggest mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditating, and just taking your time to observe your surroundings and feelings. There are some really great apps out there that offer “mind spa”. My preferred is Synchtuition.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If things start to get overwhelming or tensions at home rise, don’t be afraid to seek help and support. Reach out to your manager and ask for any employee programs that may be helpful to you. Most companies provide assistance for better work-from-home setups, such as financial support for office furniture or professional mental consultations.
If not, you may call your trusted friend or a professional to help you manage stress or anxiety. As many of us have been or are still going through it, we all have simple tricks that work for us. Let’s share!
Remember that self-care is essential. By prioritizing your well-being, you can be more motivated and productive at work and set yourself up for very pleasant times.