Prior to COVID-19, around 5 million Americans were already working from home on a regular basis for at least part of the work week. But for those of us who are new to the “WFH” world, this is uncharted territory. What do we do now that we don’t actually have to go to the office? Are we supposed to change out of our pajamas? Should we clean the house more since we’re at home during the day now? If you’re having questions and doubts about where to go from here, this list offers some tips and tricks that may make your work week a little better while you’re at home.
#1: Stick to a routine.
Waking up at the same time every day helps you stay on a schedule and makes you feel ready to get going. So, drink your coffee, take a shower, listen to music, do whatever you need to do to get your day started off on the right foot! Doing these things during what usually be your commute time can help you make a smooth transition into your workday, rather than just jumping out of bed and getting right to work.
#2: Get up and get dressed.
Unless you have a Zoom meeting scheduled that requires you to be seen by other people, you probably don’t need or want to dress like you normally would to go to the office, but waking up and putting on real clothes will help get your day started. Staying in your pajamas all day may seem like the most obvious and comfy option, but you’ll feel a lot more productive just by making yourself look presentable for the day. So, wake up, comb your hair and put on some real clothes (matching not required).
#3: Plan out your day.
Having a plan for your day helps increase your productivity by letting you know what you need to get done. Making to-do lists can be a good way to help you visualize what you want to accomplish during the day. Plan out in advance when you are going to eat lunch, and make time to take short breaks throughout the day. Setting aside time to get outside and stretch your legs helps you avoid getting burnt out, and fresh air is the midday refresher that we all need.
Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash
#4: Don’t be a couch potato!
Designate a spot in your house to work from every day. Avoid sitting on the couch or staying in bed to work – this can make it difficult to separate your home life from work. Creating a work area or home office helps you keep a sense of normality and replicates the feeling of actually being at work. At the end of the day, it is easier to power down and separate from your work if your office and home spaces aren’t intermingled.
#5: Mind your posture.
Like our moms always said to us as kids, “don’t slouch!” Maintaining good posture while working from home is super important. If you don’t, it can cause you to have major back pain. Curling up on the couch and working all day may seem like a good idea, but this can unknowingly be the source of your unwanted aches and pains. To avoid back pain, you should set up a work area that promotes proper posture. It’s easy to catch ourselves sitting hunched over at our desks, but it’s important to remember to sit straight up with your feet on the floor. Keeping your computer monitor directly in front of you will also help relieve stress on your neck. Little adjustments to your posture can go a long way!
#6: Limit your TV time.
Since everyone is working from home now, we’ve probably all felt tempted to catch up on our favorite shows during the day, but this isn’t the best idea. Time spent working from home is meant to be spent how it would be at the office – working. It can be beneficial to take short breaks throughout the day, but watching TV while trying to work can be counterproductive. If you’re a person who likes to work with background noise, some people find it helpful to leave the TV on with low volume or to stream music throughout the day. Staying focused can be hard with so many distractions at home, but you can do it – we believe in you! (And for your listening pleasure, check out this Spotify playlist with Intrepid-approved WFH songs!)
#7: Healthy snacks are key.
Don’t give into temptation – avoid those unhealthy snacks! Make sure to stock up on foods like fruits and vegetables for when you feel like taking your tenth stroll to the refrigerator. Eating healthy snacks and not binging on cookies while working will help improve your focus and concentration. The urge to snack can also be cut down by working away from the kitchen – out of sight, out of mind.
If your transition to working from home has you wondering what to do now, hopefully, these tips can offer you some help. These are just suggestions to help your work week go a little smoother, but your “work from home” style is totally up to you! This is a tough time for everyone, so cut yourself some slack – you’re doing just fine. Take a shower, put on real clothes and eat a healthy snack, or don’t. Everyone’s idea of working from home looks a little bit different, it’s up to you to find your groove!