Working from home used to be looked at as a luxury. Not having to get up and get out opted for a calm and quiet morning to dive into work without distractions. Now, while working from home still has its benefits we’re also seeing a lot of downfalls as we try to merge life at home with productivity. Stress and anxiety are high as is, constantly learning more about the status of COVID-19 as the situation progresses. Here are 5 work from home tips to reduce stress and promote productivity!
Keep A Routine
Working from home may present us with a lack of structure. To combat this, it’s important to maintain some kind of routine to provide us with consistency throughout the workweek. This work from home tip is one of the hardest to commit to, but one that you’ll thank yourself for down the road. You’ll surprise yourself with how much the small things help to structure your day: setting your alarm, getting dressed, making coffee, getting in a quick workout. It may be unrealistic to recreate your own routine, but while at home create one that works best for you. That may involve dressing the kids, making breakfast for 2 (or 3, or 4!), heading to the grocery store to stock up. One of the benefits of working from home is the leeway to customize your schedule!
When you’re deep into a project and stepping away sounds like wasting time, you’ve definitely gone too long without taking a break. Studies say that you should take a 5-15 minute break every hour, and a 30-minute break every 2-4 hours. A break to eat, stretch, or play with the kids is great, but try to do it outside. As the weather starts to turn, that vitamin D that’s waiting for us outside could be our ticket to the afternoon jolt we’re always looking for (without the added caffeine!).
Create a Home Office
Arriving at an actual office certainly helps us get into work mode. Not having that option while working from home presents us with a challenge: How do we recreate our workspace at home? A very common work from home tip is to recreate your office space at home. While it’s tempting to prop up some pillows in bed, you’ll notice your productivity (and your back) take a hit. This goes along with tip #1 of creating a routine: choose one area at home that you head to when it’s time to work. Post up by an outlet for easy charging, have your notebook and basket of pens handy, even move a coaster onto your makeshift desk if you used at work. Anything to stimulate the vibes you had at your in-office desk.
Not needing to catch a train or beat traffic on the way home may have us extending our working hours by a few on each end of the day. This is okay to do every once in a while if you’re catching up from something missed during the day or prepping something for tomorrow. But take caution as it may become easy to slip into those 10-12 hour days resulting in a quick burnout.
A slew of Netflix shows to watch and no commute to rush to in the morning may involve some late nights. Yet, we are still expected to “show up” to work and give it our all. Our amount of physical movement may inevitably take a hit, but our mental motor still needs to run as usual. At a time when we are holding tightly onto our health, getting better sleep is something our body craves and will thank you for.