How to survive and thrive while working from home
There has been plenty of hot takes written about the personal experience of working at home, or the basic tools you need to stay effective. However, there are also a number of wellness strategies you can use to make sure you stay professional.
Here are some suggestions on how to keep your sanity.
- Get out and walk. Staying on your own all day is not good for your health, physical or mental. Try to manage a half hour stroll twice a day.
- Keep regular business hours. There are two common time problems with working from home. The first runs like this: “I’m at home, so I can watch TV, I can play World of Warcraft. I can … wait, what time is it?” The other is: “I’m at work, and I must work all the time. I must not slack off. I must … wait, what time is it?” If you work 9 to 5 at the office, try to work 9 to 5 at home. Need to track your time? Check out Timely. It enables you to both schedule work jobs and track the time you actually spend on them. Alternatively, you can track what is due with Google Calendar. The business calendar version is part of G Suite.
- Stick to your diet. Ever heard of the ‘Google Stone’? It’s the weight everyone is said to gain when they go to work for the world’s largest search engine. There is also the ‘work-at-home 15lbs’. Snacks are so accessible, and no one is watching. Also, we tend to eat more when under stress, and boy, are we ever stressed out these days. Try to eat healthy when you snack. Instead of crisps, try an apple. Instead of a coke, drink unsweetened tea, or even just water. Your scale (and your work clothes) will thank you.
- Dress for work. Don’t be tempted to wear your pjs to work or your most comfortable T-shirt and shorts, unless you habitually work in these clothes anyway. If you have always worked in business attire, a track suit and flip-flops are not going to feel like work to you, so keep wearing your business clothes to get into the right frame of mind.
- Set up a dedicated area for work. It can be as little as a cordoned-off section of your kitchen table, but scattering work across your home leads to scattered thought.
- Make it clear to your family and roommates that when you are at work, you are at work. You are not available – but you are not inaccessible. Set your limits, but still pay attention to the others at home. After all, you talk to other people at the office, right?
- Get a comfortable chair. Unless you use a standing desk, you are going to be spending a lot of time in that chair. It is worth spending some real money on a good one.
- Be nice to your pet. If you live alone, having a furry companion will make your life a lot more fun. Just make sure your new office space is pet-proof.
- Use your new home videoconferencing gear and IM software to talk to friends and family. Talk to my people on a regular basis. Family and friends can keep you together – and vice versa.
- Do not obsess over the news or check Twitter or the like every five minutes. Strive not to give in to temptation. It will not help, and you will just make yourself more upset.
You may never love working at home. It’s not for everyone. Still, with this advice, you will get good work done and come out on the other side with your wits still about you.
IDG News Service