Working from home full-time wasn’t something I loved when it first started, but eventually I was worn out from the same routine. Now that some things have settled, I am a hybrid employee, so I work in the office 3 days a week and work from home 2 days. This has helped me a lot with my work life but working from home can still be difficult. I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks that help me when I work from home and I hope they will be useful to you and allow you to work from home well, efficiently, and healthily.
Take Breaks and Have a Schedule
Microsoft conducted a study on brain waves and found that our brains do, in fact, need breaks during the day. Jumping on back-to-back meetings, sending emails, and constantly working is exhausting for sure. I get worn out after 2 meetings, but I know it’s so easy to get caught up in your workflow that you don’t want to stop, but you should. Block off some time like 15 minutes to get up and away from your desk, move around, drink some water, and prepare for your next meeting. Blocking off time for lunch is helpful as well because it gives you a mental break that’s longer than your 15-minute breaks. Don’t schedule meetings during lunch and put your computer to sleep. Unplug from work. 90% of employees report that taking a lunch break makes them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. These breaks are important if you want to have a productive workday. When I say have a schedule, I mean have a hard start and stop time that you work from. For example, I start at 9 am and do my best to stop by 5. This helps you separate work and life and keeps you from being glued to your desk day-in and day-out.
Go for a Walk and Breathe
Being stagnant during your workday at home will make you feel overwhelmed and unhappy with the work you’re doing. Getting your body moving throughout the day will change this. Taking walks during your lunch and before you start work in the morning are the perfect times to get your blood and brain moving and prepare you emotionally for the work ahead. Walks after work are great too because they can act as your decompression period just as your drive home from the office would. It’s almost like a cool down after a workout. Moving helps your brain reset between tasks and it helps break up your workday. I also like to incorporate breathing exercises in my workday because it’s another thing that helps me destress throughout the day. This could be helpful for you as well. I learned this method in yoga and it consists of breathing in for 3 seconds, holding it for 3 seconds, breathing out for 3, holding it for 3, and repeating that for a few minutes. Breathing is another way for your brain to reset before beginning work again.
Even when I take walks and decompress for a short time, I find it difficult to sit at my desk all day. If you feel this way too, change up your environment! I like to work at my desk, in my bedroom, and outside on our patio. Sometimes, I’ll even drive to a local coffee shop if I don’t have any meetings scheduled. This gives me a change of scenery even if it’s from my desk to my backyard and it gives me a boost of productivity.
Giving yourself something to look forward to at the end of the day or the next morning gives you a boost when you’re feeling fatigued. I like to go to yoga or cook dinner with my friends. This not only makes it easier for me to quit working and invest time in my hobbies, but it also motivates me throughout the day. Make plans with yourself, your family, or your friends and you’ll see a difference in how you feel working from home.
Set the Tone for Work
The final tip I have for you is to set the tone for work before you begin. Stressing about all that you have to do today will not make you feel any better about walking to your desk and logging on. So, you should set the tone by doing something like grabbing a blanket and some coffee and having some “me” time before 9 am hits. This lets you relax and prepares you for the day ahead instead of starting each day the same, exhausted and/or stressed.
If you want to see a change in your work-from-home life, I encourage you to implement these small changes into your routine. You’ll be amazed at what a short walk or cup of coffee can do for your productivity.
Published on Feb 21 @ 9:13 AM CDT