I’m a master of working from home. While I know it’s not for everyone, many don’t have a choice but to WFH at the moment – so why not make the most of it? Staying inside and practicing social distancing are a small price to pay to contain this crazy virus, and the more you can stay the fuck home, the quicker this thing ends.
That being said… most of my WFH experience has been a day or two each week max in the past. Now that I’ve been working remotely for almost three full weeks, I’ve realized that those one-off days of working from my kitchen or couch are a totally different ballgame than being home each. and. every. day. Here are my top tips for making your home just as (if not more) productive than your office.
Create a Designated Workspace
While not everyone has the luxury of extra rooms to create an at-home office, creating a barrier between personal space and workspace is key. Leave your bed and couch for relaxation and personal time, and set up your work area at your kitchen table or vanity.
Differentiating your space will help your brain start to recognize what areas are for work and which are for play. By working on the couch with Netflix on in the background, you’re telling your brain and body it’s time to chill. When you’re sitting upright in a chair at a “desk,” you’re signaling that it’s time to get to work.
I also invested in a few items, like a laptop stand, wireless mouse, keyboard, USB adapter and cute mousepad to feel as comfortable as possible. Slouching over my laptop and wrestling with the trackpad was just not a cute look.
Create a Routine – and Stick To It
While it’s tempting to let working from home feel like an excuse to sleep in, stay in your pajamas and skip your workout, sticking to a routine (albeit a new one) maintains a sense of normalcy and keeps you accountable.
And hey, if that routine doesn’t happen some days, that’s okay too. I say this as I sit in my “daytime pajamas,” which if you didn’t know, are the fresh pair of pajamas you change into after you wake up.
Figure Out When You Work Best and Maximize It
If you typically work in an office, you may be confined to specific work hours – which may not actually be when you work best. Working from home allows you to make the most of your effective hours. Personally, I work best first thing in the morning, not at 9:30am, so I log on a bit earlier than our office hours to dive into my deeper work totally uninterrupted.
Leave any mindless work that has to get done but doesn’t require major brain power for the times of day that you aren’t most efficient or “on.”
Be Productive, But Also Chill TF Out
The deeper we get into this situation, the more I’m trying to see the positive side of it all. I went for a walk at 4:45pm on a weekday and couldn’t help but notice that at least a dozen full families were doing the same. Yes, that meant parents with their kids, couples of all ages. It felt like being in a black and white movie where Instagram and video games didn’t yet exist, and entertainment came in the form of being with actual other human beings IRL (crazy, right?).
Being home may free up time from your usual commuting, offsite meetings, company happy hours and socializing, which may feel like you have to fill your time with other productive activities, or even being more connected to work. I disagree.
With a bit more time on your hands and nowhere to go, don’t succumb to the pressure of doing more. Take time to chill out and recharge so that you can work effectively during work hours. If that means going for a midday walk or meditation to clear your head, so be it.
Communicate With Your Co-Workers
Even if your co-workers may drive you crazy, being cooped up at home may make you realize how important that daily interaction through meetings, small talk and plain ol’ bitching were to your daily life. Keep the convo going with co-workers through video conferences, Gchat, Slack, WhatsApp – whatever your preferred method. Just make sure you’re on a personal account if you’re using it to bitch 😉
What are your top tips for WFH? Tell me everything in the comments.