Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many professionals are now working and conducting business from home. This is an unprecedented change for many companies and individuals all over the world.
Employees and office managers have found themselves launched onto a steep learning curve. After all, you may not only be adjusting to your new, temporary work space--you’re probably also learning new software to make your work easier, too. If you’re a manager, you’re also learning to lead your team from a distance.
Distractions abound, with entire families self-quarantining while attempting to go about their daily routines. That’s why we’ve pulled together 7 work-from-home routines and best practices to help you adjust and stay productive:
1. Create a dedicated workspace
When you work from home, it’s important to create a dedicated work area. Make sure it’s away from the rest of the house, if possible, and isolated from other family members who may be at home during work hours. You’ll want to minimize potential interruptions, especially if you take regular calls or need to be present for videoconferences.
Set your space up to feel like an office, complete with desk, chair, and any other equipment you regularly use for work. Hang artwork or framed pictures on the wall, stock the bookshelf with some of your favorite business and personal growth books, and make it your own.
Working on the couch is tempting, but it can be easy to get too comfortable while you’re trying to work. Rather than risk falling asleep with your computer in your lap, make your office inviting so it’s a place where you’re excited to spend time.
Ask if your company offers a work-from-home stipend for comfort and IT setup. This could be a great opportunity to make your workspace a healthy, ergonomic place to spend your days.
2. Start the day early
Working from home can tempt you to sleep in and start your days a little later than the rest of the world. However, try to avoid this habit.
You won’t have a choice if your company requires you to be available during certain hours. But, if your schedule is more flexible, you might think you have plenty of time in the day to sleep in, and accomplish everything. But once you start the day off late, it’s hard to catch up.
To stay on track, make a list of personal, non-work-related obligations you need to take care of and schedule them after your work hours. This can help you to stay focused and stick to your schedule.
3. Eat healthy foods
Many of us start working from home with aspirations of eating healthier and exercising more. Still, it takes intention and careful planning to make that happen. Eating healthy was important at the office, but it’s even more important now that you’re working from home.
You need to be able to think clearly and maintain your energy all day long. Nutritious foods and plenty of water will help with this. Eating balanced meals with plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruits will keep you satiated. Keep healthy snacks like nuts, hummus, raw vegetables, and low-fat yogurt around to keep your blood sugar stable between meals.
If you’re struggling to find time for meal prep, choosing a snack or meal delivery service could help you maintain consistently good choices. Meal delivery services such as Sun Basket, Purple Carrot, Hungryroot, and Blue Apron all offer nutritiously-dense meal kits. There are also quite a few snack delivery services available, too, like Love With Food, Urthbox, and NatureBox.
4. Schedule breaks away from your desk
One excellent advantage of working from home is that you can often take breaks away from your desk when you need to. But while you can take breaks, that doesn’t always mean you will take a break when you should.
Set aside small increments of time for your breaks, and use a timer or alarm to remind yourself when it’s time to get up. Go outside, take a short walk, or do a quick yoga workout--just make sure to get away from your desk once in a while
5. Set a “quitting time” and stick to it
Many professionals tend to think working from home leads to a better work-life balance, but the opposite is often true. Working from home can cause work and person time to bleed into one another. The results: you end up working 24/7, with no real quitting time to speak of.
To strike a good balance, set a specific time to quit work every day. It can be hard to make yourself switch off, but it’s essential. You have to be just as intentional about being “off” work as you do about being at work.
Do whatever it takes to unplug when the time comes. Turn off Slack notifications, don’t check your email, and block off your working hours on your weekly calendar.
6. Take time to move your body
Exercise is incredibly important to the work-from-home professional. When you plan your work week and personal obligations, schedule some time to exercise, too.
If you need extra support or accountability, there are wellness services and subscriptions available to help. Some of these include the virtual wellness company Exubrancy, or the online workout class subscription service ClassPass.
7. Get plenty of sleep
Finally, you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep every night. Like sleeping in, it can be tempting to stay up late--but you risk being sluggish and foggy-headed the next day.
Instead of staying up late, set a good bedtime routine. You’ll be more productive and efficient during your work hours, and at the end of the day, you’ll also feel great about your work-from-home setup.
Staying Productive While Working From Home
Are you and your team members working from home due to COVID-19? Share your favorite tips for working from home in the comments section below!
Need help boosting your work-from-home efficiency? Eden’s Workplace Management Platform can help your workplace run smoother than ever before.