The key to working from home is to keep your routine as close to your regular office routine as possible. The tips in this guide aren't novel — you do them every day at work. But then, applying them to your work-from-home situation can help you stay productive and sane.
1. Set up and Spruce up Your Workspace
One of the basics of working remotely is to spruce up your office space. You need a dedicated environment where you can work in peace. Keep this designated area as far from common areas in the home as possible. Include a table, a desk, and a computer. When you approach this area, it's work time, and when you step away, you're home.
Much more than having a designated space, it's also essential to make it feel like an office. You can do something as grand as getting a drafting chair, or something simpler, like office art. A motivational quote or inspiring picture hung on the wall is a great start. You can print on foam boards in bright, beautiful colors at Printmoz.
2. Set up a Schedule and Stick to It
If you work in a place long enough, you'll develop a schedule consciously or unconsciously. For most people, it begins by checking their emails and clearing the notifications on their computers. Then, they get into the day's work properly. After a while, they go for lunch and come back refreshed to finish the day's work.
You should tap into the same energy when working from home. Set a schedule and follow it religiously. You can also experiment to see which tasks you prefer at various hours of the day. If you're more productive after lunch, get through the monotonous tasks in the morning, so you can focus on creative assignments in your most productive hours.
3. Leave Home when You Can
There's a reason why people are excited to go home after a long day of work. Getting some distance from your workspace can be refreshing and quite pleasurable. However, since you work from home, your life revolves around the same space. This is why it's important to leave home whenever you can.
If you're going to take a break, try taking it outside. Go for walks, or coffee, or both. You can also get lunch in a restaurant. If you're working in a pandemic, leaving home may not be possible. But then, if you can, the distance will do wonders for you.
4. Socialize with Your Colleagues
Another thing that makes working pleasurable is water cooler banter — catching up on the latest gossips and TV shows. If you work from home, you won't have the luxury of interacting physically with co-workers. You can't let that stop you.
Instead, use tools like Zoom to set up video calls with friends. Make it clear that you just want to talk, catch up, and get away from work. You'd be surprised at how many people need the same thing! You can even schedule regular calls where you talk about everything except work. It will do wonders for your mental health.