Working from home increased dramatically in 2020, forcing workers worldwide into a steep learning curve of behavioural change. While increasing workplace accessibility and eliminating commutes, remote working can bore employees to tears at times. Without the proper practices, working from home feels more like sleeping at the office, as professionalism invades privacy and productivity becomes impossible.
Taking care of yourself with these working from home tips fosters a sustainable telecommute and a healthy work-life balance.
12 Ways to Make Working From Home Work For You
1. Create a Workspace
In a perfect world, each remote worker could construct a climate-controlled office space joined to their bedroom, connected via some form of rope ladder or fireman’s pole. As things stand, remote workers should prioritise setting up a clean, organised workspace, preferably away from communal recreation areas. Not everyone has enough room for an office, but even if you live in a box room, try to create a work zone facing away from your sleeping area. Separating work areas from rest areas helps remote workers switch on and off when they need to.
2. Gather the Right Equipment
Working from home saves businesses money on utilities and office costs, freeing up some spare resources to ensure remote workers have all the tools to do their jobs. Ensure your working environment uses ergonomic seating and efficient working equipment, including fast internet and the appropriate software.
3. Schedule Regular Breaks
Every workplace incorporates breaks to prevent burnout, and working from home should be no exception. Sustain your mental health and productivity by taking regular breaks from work, not just for lunch. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique, which maximises work ethic by building break times into every work session. Depending on your workflow, this could be a 15-minute break every other hour or 5 minutes off for every 20.
4. Vary Your Breaks
If your work breaks solely consist of scrolling through socials, consider varying your choices to give yourself a break from your breaks. Fresh air and natural light work wonders on mental health, so try a short walk or some gardening to reset your psyche and unwind.
5. Start Working from Home with a Morning Routine
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the morning offers the first opportunity to achieve your goals. Effective remote workers build robust morning routines with refreshing hygiene regimens and nutrient-rich breakfasts. This builds a durable foundation to support the working day, as early starts leave room for regular breaks and cooldown time in the evening.
6. Switch off in the Evening
Although working from home eliminates physical commutes, remote workers still need time to transition from work mode to relaxation mode. This transition helps maintain a healthy work-life balance. Setting boundaries allows remote workers to do right by their personal and professional commitments.
7. Schedule Social Time
Digital innovations allow remote working and remote playing, so why not make the most of both. Schedule Facetimes and socials with friends and families to support yourself and each other. Social skills and connections create well-rounded individuals, allowing remote workers to return to the workplace refreshed and personable.
8. Create Rules and Stick to Them
Working from home can feel very abstract and chaotic, but the lack of structure allows remote workers to create rules that work for them. Besides scheduling work hours, create clear lines of communication on goals, deadlines, and expectations from colleagues. Similarly, ensure your family or housemates know your ‘do not disturb’ hours, and your requirements for shared spaces and equipment.
9. Communicate Your Problems
Bottling up problems only makes them worse, and in an era of unparalleled communication, there’s no excuse to carry the burden alone. If you’re struggling, let your friends and colleagues know. Also, remember that holidays and sick days are not just for Caribbean cruises or heart attacks. If you need a mental health day or just a day off, feel free to book one.
10. Cherish Your Working from Home Perks
While it can get boring, working from home offers unique opportunities unavailable in the office. Find a new hobby, and work on it while you work from home. Go beyond a tea break and have an ice cream break, or a chips break. You could even start a personal casual Friday in your dressing gown.
11. Be Kind to Yourself
Celebrating achievements helps remote workers far more than punishing failures. When working from home, treat yourself as you would treat an employee, if you were your own boss. Understand that imperfect humans make up each workforce, and reward yourself for your successes.
12. Keep Track of Working from Home With a Scheduling System
Take the strain away from self-monitoring with an employee self service app. The software helps schedule your days, monitor your progress, and acknowledge your achievements. This streamlines remote work for sustainable and rewarding workflows.