Working From Home Tips

There’s no question that the working world has changed since COVID-19.  With many employees working from home on a full-time basis and companies realizing how effectively “business as usual” is continuing while their employees are at home, the definition of “the office” has taken on a new meaning.  I know I’ve heard a lot of speculation of companies no longer needing a much physical office space and might let some work from home days continue.

I’ve been working full-time from home since mid-March.  I was already working from home three days a week, so transitioning to five days wasn’t a huge change (it was also really helpful that I already have a full set-up at home and that my company is fully paperless).

I’ll admit that there was a honeymoon phase when I first started working from home – it was great being at home: no commute, I could make a fresh lunch, I had dinner prepped by late afternoon, and once I was done working I was already home!  My honeymoon phase didn’t last long (I quickly realized that I didn’t want my work from home days taken away from me, so I made sure to be just as productive at home as I was in the office).

  1. Define your space – whether you’re setting up at the kitchen table, in a spare bedroom or a corner of your basement, it’s important to define your space.  Set up a work station area with your computer, a chair, and any supplies you need (pens, paper, etc.)  Once you have a space set up, you’ll be more productive.  It’s also best if you can pick a space that you can leave “as-is” when you’re done work.  It’ll get old really fast if you have to pack everything up in the evenings and then unpack it the next morning.
  2. Make and stick to work hours – this is an important one because, if you’re like me, sometimes the work day can be up to 10 hours long.  It’s easy to just keep working when there isn’t a lot going on outside of work (we can’t meet up with friends or family, most places are still closed, etc.)  I knew I couldn’t spend 10 hours staring at my computer screen, so I try to keep to my regular office hours as much as possible.
  3. Create a to-do list and work through it – just like when I would work from my actual office, every morning I make a to-do list for my day.  I found this to be helpful when working from home.  It’s a great way to stay on track of your tasks and ensure that deadlines are met.
  4. Take a lunch break – another important tip!!  I take my lunch break every day.  I physically leave my space (which happens to be a spare bedroom), I shut the door and don’t enter until my lunch break is over.  I heard a while ago that employees are actually more productive in the afternoons when they’ve had a break from their screens and phones.  I use my lunch break to get in a little workout (which I am LOVING because it helps me not sit for 8 straight hours), but you could use yours to take a walk, get from fresh air, do some reading or really just chill out.
  5. Get dressed and don’t work in your PJ’s – I am hoping that this is an obvious tip, but just in case you need a reminder…. I know your PJ’s and housecoat are super comfy but you’ll be more productive if you change into actual clothes.  I admit to cheating a bit on this one… because I use my lunch break to workout, in the morning I change into my workout clothes (still super comfy, but still along the lines of “real” clothes – I mean they are acceptable to wear out of the house).  Once I’m done my workout I will change into my standard jeans and a t-shirt.

Let me know if you found any of these helpful and share your own tips below 🙂

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