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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 🙂