I love working from home! I’ve been very fortunate to live close to the office. It takes me three minutes to reach the office, so there’s not much of a difference when it comes to commuting. The difference is the time taken to get ready for work. As a woman, you need to wash and dry hair, choose clothes and put on makeup; you know all the things that you can say to your colleagues that you woke up like this! Besides that, I love working in my t-shirt and shorts, and how I need to walk 3 meters to fill out my water bottle.
But I have so many people telling me that working from home is not just working for them. Especially when you have several distractions like kids keep popping up on zoom calls, or parents yelling in the middle of your urgent pitch.
But the main reason why working from home is not for everybody is because people cannot separate their work and life. They feel that they are working longer hours, skipping their lunch because they need to do a zoom call during lunchtime. Or they are on the opposite side; they are looking at the bed, very tempted just to lay down and do nothing.
I have a few tips that can help you to love working from home.
Keep a consistent office hour
First thing first, wake up as if you are working from the office. You are not on a holiday, just because your bed and your laptop are only a few steps away. If you usually wake up at 6 am or 7 am to be in the office at 9 am, don’t stop doing that just because you are working from home. You can use the free time to prepare your meal for the whole day or exercise or even learn new skills like language, painting or coding. After that, start your work at 9 am sharp, no matter what. If you work on a flexible schedule, it will ruin your productivity, and you will end up working longer hours.
Invest in a good working station
If you have enough space and budget, investing in a proper workstation makes a lot of difference. Having a suitable desk and chair, along with a display screen will avoid bad posture, headache and eye tiredness. Besides, if you have one place to go for work (almost as if you are going to the office every day), it will keep your mind focused.
Schedule your lunch and break
Don’t eat your lunch while you work. Having a separate workstation and a dining space is essential. It would be best if you did not eat at your desk as it will increase long-term health risk because of long hours of sitting. No matter how small your house is, you will need to stretch once in a while. Schedule a proper break for lunch and coffee time. Put on your google calendar if you have to, so people won’t schedule any meeting during that hour.
Keep your old habits from office
If you have a habit of going to a coffee shop or office pantry at 3 pm to get a coffee or tea and engage in a small talk with your colleague, why stop just because you are working from home? Get your coffee, even only an instant coffee from your own pantry, call your colleague on zoom and have a 5-10 mins conversation about non-work related stuff! If you miss lunching with your colleague, grab your lunch and get on a zoom call with your colleagues. I know this is not perfect, but this is the world that we are living now and we have to accept it.
If you have already done everything above and still feel exhausted from work, and you need a longer break — apply for leave. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you cannot take a break. Even if this vacay means going to the swimming pool in your condo. And hopefully, Monday after the weekend doesn’t seem that bad.