Over the past 18 months, during this pandemic, a large number of companies have transitioned from the traditional office work format to the more viable work-from-home option. This has left many having to relearn how to navigate their way through a new work/life balance. It can be difficult to block out those distractions from a busy household or to stay upbeat when it feels like you’re stuck inside all day. We’ve collected 5 of the top work from home tips & tricks to help your workday go a little smoother.
Create Your “Happy Bubble”
When beginning your work-from-home journey, you should always start with creating a personal and friendly workspace. A little “happy bubble” that will put you in the right frame of mind to stay focused. We suggest decorating your area with some photos, using your favorite mug for some coffee or tea, or purchasing a few low-maintenance house plants. If going down the houseplant route and you have a furry friend in your home, please ensure your plants are pet-friendly! The ASPCA has a great list of plants that are poisonous to your pets. Whatever way you choose to design your new workspace, keep in mind you are trying to create an area in your home that will support an encouraging and productive work environment.
Set A Schedule
Sure, your work hours haven’t changed but your daily schedule sure has. You’ve suddenly found yourself not having to stress over the early morning rush out the door or a traffic-filled commute and you’re unsure of how to start and end your workday. It’s time to rethink your daily schedule. We suggest beginning with a new routine such as taking the time you would have spent in traffic and using it to get in that morning workout or to get those pesky chores completed. That way, when it’s time to start your workday, your brain is prepped to focus on your job tasks. If you are scheduled to work 8 am to 5 pm, stick to that! It can be tempting to keep working on that big project but you need to create healthy work/home boundaries. When the clock hits 5 pm, close your laptop and try to not fixate on current tasks until you start back up at 8 am the next morning. Lastly, if you are unwell, take that sick day! Working from home can make you feel guilty for needing that day off to get better. But, taking some time to rest and recuperate will ultimately lead to a healthier you in the long run.
Take Those Breaks
Jumping off the last section is the importance of ensuring you are taking those breaks. If you are given a lunch break, take that time to step away from your computer. Don’t rush through and short-change yourself either. Fill that time with a healthy meal, a stroll around your neighbourhood, or simply spend a few minutes socializing with others in your home. Your mental health will thank you!
Stay In A Positive Mindset
Continuing on the topic of mental health, it’s imperative you put the effort into encouraging a positive mindset when working from home. It’s understandable if you begin to find yourself feeling cut off from the world around you but they’re steps you can take to combat that. Besides establishing your “happy bubble” mentioned above, reach out to your fellow coworkers. Socializing with people who are in your exact situation can assist in tackling those shared feelings of isolation. Another great resource you can use to help boost your spirits is music. Try putting on your favorite playlist to get you in that optimistic and productive mood. You’ll be amazed at how much better a great song can make you feel.
Cut Out Distractions
The final tip we have for you is cutting out unnecessary distractions as much as possible. If you are able to set up your home office in a room with a door, keep that door closed during your work hours. If you’re sharing your home with family or friends, create boundaries together so you can all agree and stick to those rules. These could be rules as simple as sharing weekly calendars with each other to understand the times when people can not be disturb or asking that others do not enter your workspace unless absolutely necessary. If you’ve tried your best to cut out as many distractions as possible and you’re still unable to focus in your current location, try shaking up your surroundings. Grab your laptop and head out onto your deck or visit your local coffee shop or bistro. Sometimes, all it takes is just a change in scenery to pivot your productivity levels.
Moving from an office to a home workspace can be a bit of a jarring experience but it doesn’t have to be. Put into play a couple or even all of the tips and tricks we mentioned in this article and we know you’ll be a work-from-home superstar in no time!