Working from home presents unique benefits and challenges. While the advantages of commute-free working days, wearing what you like while working, and cooking your lunch is undeniable, it can be hard to stay motivated and productive. You may have to balance childcare with remote work or live in a smaller space with no room for an office to keep your personal and professional lives separate.
Comfort is key to productivity, so you should prioritize making your workspace relaxing and beneficial. Here are some ways you can feel comfortable and stay productive while working from home.
Get Your Desk Set Up Right
If possible, it is best to set up a desk to work from. If you have a smaller space to work with, you should look at some of the smaller-sized desk options to conserve space. You will also need a suitable desk chair that provides good ergonomic support. Ideally, you should keep your desk a workspace only. Avoid doing leisure activities from it as this will make you blur the lines between your personal and professional life.
Disconnect At The End Of The Day
It can be hard to disconnect fully at the end of the workday while working from home. It may be beneficial to move to a different area of the house or go outside. Follow your working hours and avoid the temptation to continue working beyond your hours.
Take Regular Breaks
Breaks are crucial to keeping you mentally fresh for work. It is a good idea to stand up and move around at least once per hour. You could do some stretches while you move and ensure your posture is good. You could also have a snack or drink.
Bookend Your Workday With A Walk
Starting and ending your day with a walk can be a great way to set boundaries on your workday. You could think of the walk as a kind of commute. Staying fit and active is more important than ever when working from home, as it can become easy to stay indoors for days at a time. Bookending your workday with a walk can be a great way to ensure you get out of the house every day.
Dress With Comfort In Mind
One of the biggest advantages of working from home is the ability to wear whatever you like while you work. If you have video meetings, you may need to ensure you’re dressed appropriately, but otherwise, you’re free to dress how you like. You could consider comfortable athleisure wear or even pajamas.
You should ensure that whatever you wear helps you stay productive. It’s also best to choose quality clothing that will feel good to work in. For instance, you could look for versatile and warming tracksuits for men like these from the Gym King.
Invest In Healthy Snacks
Snacking while working from home is a lot easier than snacking in the office. It is vital to make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks at home and avoid getting too much junk food or sweets. You could buy your favorite fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and other healthy snack options. Sweet treats like chocolate are fine as long as you enjoy them in moderation.
Light A Scented Candle
Scent can have a significant impact on our mood and how well we work. You could consider using a particular candle to scent the room you work in. This will make your mind associate the smell with work and help keep you energized and focused. Citrus scents are a good choice to keep you engaged.
Keep Distractions Minimal
There are plenty of potential distractions when working from home, from children and pets requiring attention to household chores that need doing. It can be easy to get sidetracked by different things at home, but it is crucial that you avoid distractions as much as possible to stay productive. Ensure that your desk is clear of anything not work-related, and save your household to-do list until the workday is finished.
Many people work better when being observed, whether by colleagues, managers, or customers. Working from home means that there is usually no one to watch you work, which can affect your productivity. You can mitigate this by observing yourself. Make a to-do list with your goals for each day and week and hold yourself accountable to complete it. You could also team up with a co-worker to help each other stay accountable.
Connect With Your Co-Workers
Working from home can be lonely, so connecting with your co-workers whenever you can is crucial. Most offices use instant messaging channels like Slack or Microsoft Teams, so it can be beneficial to make use of these resources to talk to your co-workers. If your employer doesn’t already, you could suggest a channel dedicated to watercooler conversation where you and other team members can chat when you need some social connection.
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Used with permission from Saundra Dalton-Smith.