When you're used to an everyday routine from driving to the office, going to meetings, and most of the time sharing a microwave with everyone else for lunch, well working from home can sound pretty good... at first anyway. Although it's nice to have an option, working from home can take discipline and some flexibility. Personally, I have to stop and throw in a load of laundry and make sure all the dishes are out of the sink, and in the dishwasher. Oh, and then, if I'm on my laptop, I stop to plug it in so I will not run out of power and have to switch to the PC or maybe the iPad. Yeah, it takes discipline. So, I thought I would give you a few tips so if you are like me, well, maybe one of these ideas will work for you.
Your Designated Workspace
It may be difficult to dedicate a space for working. Some homes just don't have space for a dedicated home office. Find a private space that you can make your own while you're working from home. It will increase productivity, and allow you to separate work from your personal life.
Make Your Schedule
Set your schedule, and stick to it...most of the time. Have clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day. This will help you maintain a work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else's time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it."
Remember the Mute Button
Lots of us are working from our living rooms or dining rooms. The dog or kids in the background of a call might be entertaining—once, but don't make a habit of it. The smallest of noises, even if you're ruffling papers, can sound like thunder over a cell phone. Learn to hit mute when you're on calls from home. This will eliminate background noise and any embarrassing interruptions.
What you Eat and Drink Matters
For some people, it's easy to get caught up in work and forget to eat or stay hydrated during the day. For me on the other hand, as I pass by the fridge on the way to the laundry, I stop and take a peek. As if there was someone inside that would hand me something healthy to snack on... again. Work on sticking to your usual mealtimes. And don't buy potato chips or other junk. Stock up on healthy food to resist the temptation to snack all day.
Working from home means you're out of your regular routine. Whether you were used to walking at lunchtime, or in the evening after dinner, keep that habit going. If you didn't already have these habits, make exercise a part of your new routine. In my world, if it's not on my calendar it does not exist. Try adding a walk break to your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. Also, there are currently many Apps, gyms and fitness experts that have put their workouts online for free.
You can feel isolated working from home. Especially if you get energy from your regular workspace and colleagues. "One undeniable loss is the social, casual ‘water cooler' conversation that connects us to people," said NPR. "To fill the gap, some co-workers are scheduling online social time to have conversations with no agenda." Use the free versions of chat and video apps like Zoom, or Be.Live if you miss real-time interaction.