With a global pandemic on the loose, many of us were forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of disease. However, this has put the economy at a standstill. It prevented people from going to work and attending to their duties. At the start of the quarantine, many businesses were forced to close their operations temporarily. That is without any foreseeable return in the future. However, as the months have passed, and we’ve grown accustomed to the ‘new normal,’ individuals and companies have learned to adjust and work their way around restrictions. This has lead to the popularity of working from home.
What was once thought of as a luxury only limited to a few industries has become widespread. As each month passes by, employees have proven to their employers that they can still accomplish their tasks and job requirements even at home. However, for many employees, working from home brings its own kind of struggles. These difficulties are often new, as working from home is foreign for most of us. Below are some tips you can employ to make your working from home experience a lot better.
Designate a Working Area
Among the most formidable challenges with a work-from-home setup is the separation of work from home. It can get very blurry and can make even resting moments stressful, as you tend to remember your work tasks. Disconnecting from work becomes difficult, and stress and anxiety build up faster.
You can prevent this from happening by creating a designated home office. This allows you to enter a work environment that you can mentally (and physically) separate from your home. This also lets you focus on your tasks more, especially if you need a dedicated quiet space, primarily if you teach language or music lessons at home.
Get Dressed for Work
One of the best ways to put yourself into ‘work mode’ is by wearing clothes that remind you of work. It sounds like a simple suggestion, but it’s a highly effective one. It is very tempting to remain in comfortable clothes, such as pajamas or loose t-shirts, but feeling too comfortable might encourage slacking off and not getting work done.
You don’t need to dress as formally as you used to, as well. Instead, wear clothes that you would wear outside. Smart casual often works, as it’s comfortable enough to wear for long periods while still resembling proper work clothes.
Create a Routine
One of the benefits of a work-from-home setup is its inherent flexibility that enables you to start earlier or later than your usual work hours. However, this can encourage you to work ‘when you feel like it,’ which is counter-intuitive to productivity.
Creating a schedule and abiding by it will help you establish a sense of routine. Decide on a daily schedule, such as your waking time, bath time, and actual work time. This will make you feel as if you are still going to work. However, with the conveniences from working at home, you’ll actually find yourself finishing early and having more time for yourself.
Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
It’s easy to overwork yourself in a work-from-home setup. The working hours are loosely defined, and you notice the passage of time less and less. However, tiring yourself out from work can eventually lead to burn out. Feeling burnt out from working at home feels terrible as it’s rather difficult to separate when work and home end.
To prevent yourself from overworking, and to remind yourself to take breaks, try a Pomodoro timer. It lets you work in intervals of twenty-five minutes, with a five-minute break after. This teaches you to work more efficiently while still reminding you to take breaks in between. This method allows for a more efficient workflow and will not tire you out.
Go Out for a Walk
Staying at home for hours on end will inevitably lead to restlessness and cabin fever. That’s why it’s crucial to not only take a break but go out for a walk now and then. This allows you to ‘refresh’ your mind and rest your eyes (especially from staring at the screen for too long).
However, it’s still important to remember to follow social distancing measures. Avoid crowded spaces, and limit yourself to areas you know there are fewer people. If you have a garden or a local park, it’s best to spend your 5-minute breaks there. When you return to work, you’ll find yourself energized and ready to tackle the next task.
With these ideas in mind, you can avoid stressing and overworking yourself when finishing your tasks at home. Remote working doesn’t have to be stress-inducing if you take enough care.