Whereas before the pandemic, working from home used to be reserved for a happy few, nowadays the practice is much more wide-spread. During the health crisis, many of us were obliged to stay at home and work from there as most offices had to be shut. Once we were over the worst of it, a lot of employers realised that their employees hadn’t been less productive during their time at home. And for various reasons, a lot of businesses decided to hang onto the new way of working – some full-time, others at least a few days a week.
So now, we’re at a moment where many of us are teleworking several days a week. It’s a great way to save time in the morning (bye-bye commute) and, let’s be honest, it’s just very practical in a lot of ways. Firstly, no one is judging your outfit. Secondly, if you’re not so friendly with your colleagues, this is the perfect way to avoid them. And thirdly, you can do all kinds of practical chores during your working hours. Of course, you shouldn’t take too much advantage of this, but being able to turn on the washing machine or to accept your home delivery groceries is just very time effective.
Yet, even though we’re all for that new work ethic, working from home can be hard as well. When you’re detached from the office and all alone all day, finding the motivation to get stuff done can be challenging. Moreover, our private and professional lives are getting ever more tangled. This can make it hard to disconnect at night or even be a burden on your relationship. So, how to work from home while staying productive and keep a sane mind? We wrote down some of our first-hand tips.
1. Get ready in the morning
While working at home, it can be very tempting not to get ready in the morning. To just crawl out of bed, get behind your desk and start working. And even though we’re not saying you should put on a fully-acceptable outfit, getting ready in the morning gives a boost to your day. Hop under the shower like you would do if you went to work, put on some clothes (even track pants will do), eat your breakfast and brush your teeth. Now, you’re ready.
2. Think about your workspace
Having a designated workspace at home can be tricky, but it really pays to put some effort into it. If you’ve got enough space and if you can turn a whole room into your office space, that’s the ultimate luxury of course. But even if you’re not able to do so and you’ve just got a corner of your living room to work with, that’s always better than working from your kitchen table or sofa. Try to invest in a good laptop stand, a nice desk chair and some other essentials to make things more ergonomically comfortable – you shouldn’t make things too hard on your body after all. If you’re really obliged to work from your dining table, then make a habit out of setting up your desk every morning and storing your stuff at the end of your work day. This will make sure your professional and personal life don’t get too mixed up.
3. Take a break
When working from the office, you often take a break to go to the toilet or fetch a cup of coffee. At home, somehow, this is easy to forget. If you’re someone who tends to forget the world around you and who works for hours in a row, set your alarm and take a break. Go to your kitchen and make yourself a healthy little snack, give your plants some well-deserved attention or go outside for a little walk. You’ll see, you’ll be full of energy afterwards.
4. Do small tasks immediately
Chances are, while working from home, your mind will wander. You’re thinking about the dishes that need to be done, the bedsheets that need changing or that light bulb that’s broken. And it’s difficult to forget as you’re confronted with the state of your home all day. That’s why, if such a chore takes 5 minutes or less, it’s actually better for your productivity to just get it over with. Even during working hours. Just take a little break, do that task and get behind your desk again with an empty mind.
5. Stay in touch
It depends a bit on what you do for a living but most of us have some kind of colleagues. When we were still working at the office, we got to see them multiple times a week and it wasn’t very difficult to stay in touch or to maintain good communication between you and the rest of your team. Now that we’re all alone at home, things can get a little tricky. Therefore, it can be a good idea to set up a group chat with your team. Concentrate on the necessary stuff but try to talk about less serious matters too from time to time, making sure you don’t lose touch with each other.
6. Make plans
Working from home, we’re less confronted with office hours than before. Whether you get something done by 5PM or by 6PM often doesn’t make much of a difference. And whereas before you had to be behind your desk at 9AM sharp, now, working hours are a bit looser. Sadly, that also means that we procrastinate more than before and sometimes, our evenings are even shorter than when we worked at the office as we keep on working till later on. To avoid this, try to make plans as much as possible. Whether it is going to the gym, doing groceries or going for a dinner with friends, putting a time on it will make sure you have an hour by which your work needs to be done.