A lot of people dream of working from home, and although these are not ideal conditions to have to be forced into doing so, it’s a good opportunity for many to rethink how you work best and to set your own hours! To help you make the most of this situation, we’ve gathered some tips from what our Editour staff has learned from working from home (we consider ourselves experts at this!), so that you can make the most of your time doing so! It may be for a few more weeks, or may be for a more months, but there’s still an art to working from home well and staying productive!
The Dress Code
Brushing your hair is optional, but brushing your teeth is required! Wake up and do the first part of your morning routine as you normally would if you were going into the office. Make some coffee, shower (maybe, if it’s been 2-3 days), put your hair up and put some skincare on so you feel like a regular human being. Bras and makeup are optional. Yes, there will be some days that you will wear your pajamas from morning until night. (And that’s perfectly OK!) If you’re feeling fancy, your best pair of stretchy yoga pants or Spandex leggings do the trick. We DON’T recommend jeans; what are you, psycho?
Take a Lunch Break
Carve some time out of your day to eat lunch away from your workspace, even it’s just for 15 minutes. Give your eyes and mind a break and go into the kitchen or another room to eat. A common symptom of working from home for too long is working straight through the day and not realizing it’s already 3 p.m. and you haven’t touched a piece of food since you binged some Cheetos on the couch the night before. Make your workspace your work-only zone—no other activities can be done there. Similarly, if you don’t have a desk with a computer you can work from, carve out a space to bring your laptop to, such as a kitchen table with an upright chair. Bringing your laptop into your bed and hoping you’ll knock out your next 30 emails is just a recipe for taking a nap.
Set a Schedule
Try to set a schedule that can become your daily routine. For most jobs, that’s working between the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe when people are most active. However, since it’s quarantine time and really anything goes, if you’re more productive at night, then work later into the night; a good way to create a schedule though is to get up at a decent hour and start your day so that you can feel more accomplished by 5 p.m. At the end of your workday, reward yourself with a wind-down. Maybe it’s an episode of your favorite Netflix show? Maybe it’s taking your dog for a walk (of course, keeping 6 ft. away from anyone on the street)? Maybe it’s treating yourself to some online shopping (best to not make this a daily thing, but if you’re a boss babe making that money who am I to say no)? Basically just to something to single to your brain and body that your workday is officially over and it’s time to party!
Work Away from the TV
As we stressed above: the workspace is for working, and the rest of the home is for playing and relaxing in. Try to set up your work area away from your TV and don’t turn your TV on in the background as you’re working (remember, TV is that treat for yourself at the end of the day!). Being self-quarantined is also a recipe for watching way too much TV (we’ll circle back and provide some more ideas on what you can do instead later!). I used to have my office in my kitchen at my old apartment, and when I would end the day relaxing on the couch, I would just stare at the desk in my kitchen and would want to write a quick email or do invoices. That ain’t right.
Take a Cleaning Break
We’re all for taking 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day! And, we’re also all about being productive while doing so! Do what you gotta do to sane! If you get side-tracked and see something that needs cleaned in your house, go for it. These are nice breaks and when you’re in work-mode, and it’s often when you end up doing your best cleaning. We’re all also spending way more time at home than usual, meaning the dishes are stacking up faster, toilets are being used more and clutter can become chaotic. A clean space is also a better environment to work in—don’t just take our word for it. A study conducted by Harvard University found that students who worked in a clutter-free space could work steadily for 7.5 minutes longer compared to students attempting the task in a cluttered environment. The conclusion: an untidy workspace can “undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks.”
Be the anchor of communication for your team this week and take a leadership role! Take the initiative to set up a Skype meeting with your colleagues to go over your week, action items, updates and to keep in touch. Friendly reminder: for video calls, we do recommend putting that bra on for this special occasion.
Go easy on yourself these next few weeks and see this as the blessing it is. You are (we hope) doing what you did at your office, but are now on your own clock! For many, working from home is where you can be the most comfortable and the most productive. Get into a groove and get into beast mode. Good luck my work-from-home-ers! You got this! Share what tips you have learned while working from home in the comments below and stay safe. #imaneditour