For many of us, working from home has been uncharted territory. When your officemates are family or four-legged friends and your new office doubles as a kitchen, the line between work and home starts to blur. So, when your work life and home life merge as your new work-from-home life, how do you balance the two?
Routine Routine Routine
Let’s face it, working remotely will never be the same as working in the office—set that expectation early on—but sticking to a daily routine during the workweek can do wonders for productivity and mindset.
Think about how you’d normally go about your workday and keep a similar routine when working from home. Put on clothes that aren’t pajamas, eat at regular times throughout the day, and communicate with your teammates (more on that below).
Remember when school bells signaled it was time to move to the next class or head to lunch? Implement your own school bell system. Use your phone and set daily alarms to help you stick to your schedule. When that closing bell rings, it’s yoga pants and Netflix time.
Pro tip: Start the day with a hard task. Don’t get into a trance of emails first thing. Get into a good groove with a challenge!
Set Up Your Office
If working from the couch or even (gasp!) your bed seems like a dream, RESIST. Set up a dedicated space that’s as close to your office space as possible. Avoid your typical living areas as those places are for rest and relaxation and should be a haven when your workday is over. Find a space with good lighting, away from distractions, and set up shop.
Pro tip: Keep a few stacks of Post-It notes nearby. When working from home, it’s easier to think of the chores around the house that need to be done, items you need from the store or personal errands you need to run. Jot them down as you think of them. It’ll help turn your focus back to work (and remind you to do them).
Stay In Touch
Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen said it best, “a kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen.” One of the biggest challenges to working remotely is the inability to see and talk with coworkers while you’re at home.
If you need a break from talking to your kiddos, or yourself, reach out! Get creative with communication. Schedule daily video calls, set up teleconferencing, even schedule a virtual happy hour (that’s what our office does). Just because you’re not physically with your teammates, doesn’t mean you can’t digitally be together. Try a couple of our favorite video chat systems like Zoom and WebEx.
The best part about a video chat from home: your golden retriever can join, and you’ll be the star of the office.
Get the Blood Flowing
An added benefit to working from home—you can do a few lunges without weird looks from your coworkers. Find ways to add a little movement in your day to keep the blood flowing. With no morning commute, it’s harder to wake your body up. Stretch, take a long walk with your dog, or have a quick yoga session before settling into work.
If you notice yourself getting into a slump during the day, jump up and do a few burpees or a lap around the neighborhood. Not only is it great physically, but it can also help clear your head and stay focused on work. Check out these 5-, 10- and 20-minute workouts you can do at home.
Not keen on sweating? Do a load of laundry or make your bed. Take a few small breaks here and there to jumpstart the next bout of productivity.
Trying to keep work and home life separate becomes even harder when you do it all in one place. When your work devices are available to you 24/7, it’s important to keep your work hours in check. As much as you love your job, be intentional about “closing” your home office at the end of your typical workday and focus on family, self-care or relaxation in the evenings.
Enjoy the satisfaction of throwing on your comfy clothes, spend quality time with those at home, and do something that’s just for you.
If you’re looking for ways to unwind, we hear Love Is Blind is pretty binge-worthy, and it’s just been renewed for two more seasons.