Distractions might be plenty, but you can stay focused.
For some, working from home is convenient. For others, it’s not. Some have figured out a method to the madness over the last two years while others are still fumbling along unable to fix on a pattern. Working from home isn’t always easy due to a myriad of factors but learning to work remotely in an efficient and productive manner can be achieved. Try these approaches to address some of the most common issues:
Put yourself first—stretch, exercise, meditate
You are going to be sitting, standing, or staying in one position for a lot of time when working remotely from home, depending on the demands of your job. To avoid feeling Zoom fatigue or tiring from always being ‘on’ for meetings, consider moving away from your ‘work position’ for a few minutes to take a break, stretch for a bit or do a few breathing exercises, complete a quick chore, or practice a few eye exercises to rest your sight. This will also help you not feel sluggish, which is bound to happen when working in the same position or on the same project for long periods of time.
Create working and living spaces
This is easier said than done given that not everyone has the luxury of space to go about carving a little workspace sanctuary for themselves but should your home permit, try to, in some form or fashion, differentiate between your home environment and work environment. For some people, this means working from their garage or even a closet in the hallways. But it could be as simple as marking one end of your dinner table for work and the rest for your family meals. If you cannot find a room to call your office at home, then maybe a corner desk will suffice. You may have to take turns sharing that corner desk with your partner, spouse or friend depending on your living arrangements so having specific hours when you have access to the space is another way to create that work environment for yourself.
Plan for comfortable surroundings
Your desk, chair, lighting, ventilation, laptop, and keyboards—all play an important role in you showing up in your best attitude to get work accomplished on any given day. Give thought to purchasing new or modifying old furniture so you can feel good in the space you are occupying and are motivated to produce your best work. Cutting corners will quickly pose problems as being seated in an uncomfortable angle or trying to answer video calls where there isn’t ample lighting will only work against you. Just as you would customize your desk at work to comfortably spend long hours there, ensure you create a similarly inviting space at home to give you some semblance of the office.
Eat at regular hours—breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack in between
Where going to lunch with colleagues or grabbing coffee together was the norm, working from home means doing that in the solitude of your personal space. This can be an extremely isolating experience for many but there is a quick solution. Try organizing meetings such as lunch and learns or coffee and coworking sessions with a small group or part of your team locally if possible. If moving away from your work-from-home desk isn’t an option, then try to prepare healthy and wholesome meals for the day along with options for snacking so you do not neglect your health in the process of having a productive day at work. Meal prep services and other fresh produce delivery services might be able to help in ensuring you stay on a nutritious diet plan.
Continue to schedule other regular activities
Working from home shouldn’t change your daily schedule in any way except for the fact that the location where you typically head to work now possibly looks very different. Sure, the commute time might be heavily reduced but maybe you can use that time to organize some morning or evening activities for your family or spending a little more time than you usually would cooking a meal. Try to keep your mind and body on the same schedule as you always did so that when that day does arrive that you do have to head back to an office, you will not have to retrain yourself all over again and then subject your family to that as well. This will also help avoid any overwhelm from feeling like you are working all the time because you don’t have a regular schedule to adhere to.
While remote working from home doesn’t look the same for everyone given all the factors that affect how we function every day, it is a topic of much debate and discussion these days with many companies choosing to continue with a remote work or even a hybrid work arrangement. If you happen to find yourself looking at working from home for the immediate future, hopefully some of these tips helped reinforce your plans for organizing your home and office.