In tough times, one of the best things you can do is lean on friends for support and learn from one another through sharing advice and experiences. With that, we turned to our colleagues who already work remotely to compile a list of helpful tips that might give you a better perspective on working from home. If you’ve never worked at home on a consistent basis before, it can be especially difficult to find balance and create a healthy routine that enables you to feel energized and productive.
If you’re struggling to find balance these next couple of weeks, give some of these suggestions a spin:
1 Get dressed. Unless you genuinely feel your best in your pajamas, get dressed in a new, clean outfit each morning. Do your hair and makeup if you want. Just show up for yourself like you would for anyone else.
2 Go on a walk. I tend to put a little more effort into getting ready if I know that the rest of the world will see me—so after you get ready, go for a walk around the block. It’ll wake you up, give you a few minutes of sunshine, and improve your mood before you sign on for the day. (And please wear a mask, bandanna, or scarf around your nose and mouth in public.)
3 Take regular breaks. Set an alarm every hour for a stretch break, a coffee or water break, or for another one of those brisk around-the-block strolls. Even if it means your workday lasts an extra 30 minutes, your body will thank you.
4 Reach out. Say hello to a friend or family member once a day. Even if it’s just a quick text, try to connect with another person while keeping social distance intact.
5 Move your body. I’ve seen it in every self-help article ever written, but it’s such a valuable addition to a productive daily routine. It can be a walk with your dog, an online yoga class in your living room, or an impromptu dance party by yourself- just get up and move.
6 Create a healthy workspace. One of the easiest ways to create a healthier work-life balance while you’re working where you live is to segment physical space for each activity. If you don’t have an extra bedroom for an office, get a small desk or set aside a corner where you only do work. Still don’t have enough space? Working from the kitchen table can work, just be sure to shut down and put away your work computer so that you can relax and transition easily into the non-working hours.
7 Surround yourself with things you love. Do you love plants? Candles? Pictures of your furry friends? Post those items up. Build a positive space for yourself and take time to pull together a cheerful playlist or an inspiring podcast queue to get you through the day. Have a cozy mug filled with your favorite organic tea or coffee and a giant water bottle to remind you to stay hydrated. This part is all about indulging your senses with happy things, without causing too many distractions.
8 Make your workday work for you. Start by getting clear on what a productive day looks like—so that you can tell when it’s time to clock out for the day, and so that you aren’t staring at your laptop at 9PM wondering if you should squeeze in one more hour of work. If you’re working closely with a boss or colleagues, loop them in and share your expectations with one another.
9 Make a daily to-do list. Once you have a clear understanding of your own expectations, begin each day by taking time to schedule everything you need to do that day and evaluate where you’re at on your goals for the week. Again, this helps to set the bar for the day and gives you things to cross off a list so that you can end the day with a positive feeling of productivity.
10 Communicate. Since communication is an essential part of working remotely, it’s a good idea to check your email inbox regularly, schedule meetings through Chime, and use G-chat for instant communication as needed.