Working from home is a little bit like becoming your own boss. The clearly defined boundaries set at most workplaces don’t exist at home, so it takes a measure of self control and motivation to get ‘in the zone’. However, once you find a routine and set some guidelines that work for you, you’ll find creativity and productivity can flourish while working from home!
The internet is brimming with working from home tips and guides, so we’ve done some groundwork for you, tested the best ones at home and found there are 5 key areas to master before you can dub yourself a working from home boss!
While it’s easy enough to lay in bed or sit on the couch with your laptop, having a designated work space at home is key to maintaining focus. Lounging around while ‘at work’ is a sure way to stifle your motivation and productivity.
There are a few key elements your work space needs in order to function properly, the main one being to limit any distractions or interruptions. Your space needs to exist outside the main thoroughfares of your home (this might be the kitchen or lounge room) to avoid unnecessary interruption from your family, housemates or even your pets!
Humans need routine. A daily routine not only makes us feel more in control of our lives, but can help us form healthy habits, reduce stress levels and improve our overall mental health. There are lots of things you can implement into your working from home routine, the key is to find out what works best for you.
One of our favourite tips we think is applicable to everyone is to get dressed! It may sound silly, but when you’re working from home there’s really nothing stopping you from rolling out of bed and clocking on while still in your pjs. Getting dressed has a real effect on your mindset. It mentally and physically prepares you for the day ahead and prevents you from having to perform that mad dash when you receive an unexpected video call!
Some other things you can implement into your daily routine include a morning walk or exercise session, eating a healthy breakfast, setting constant work hours and updating your to-do list. It is a good idea to set alarms as reminders until these things become habits.
This one sounds like a given, but it is surprising how often you forget to look after yourself when you’re absorbed in your work. Assuming that your job requires you to sit at a desk for most of the day, your posture is the most likely to suffer.
Try to remember to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes, or set a recurring alarm until this becomes a natural habit. It is also important that you take breaks as outlined by your employer; go for a short walk, eat a healthy lunch or get some fresh air outside.
Office furniture is also an important health factor. A high quality, comfortable office chair or, if your budget allows for it, a standing desk will both aid your posture. Make sure you have a good light source to avoid eye strain, natural light is best if possible.
You can easily feel socially isolated when working at home full time. Using tools like phone, email and messenger are convenient and good for keeping in touch with your co-workers, but it’s important to hear and see people from time to time.
Our favourite way to connect is by using video conferencing tools such as Zoom. Zoom is an online remote conferencing program that allows you to host unlimited group or one-on-one meetings for free.
While video conferencing is not quite the same as meeting in person, it gives you a more personal connection with your co-workers and certainly helps fill your social meter when working from home.
This category touches on each of the topics we’ve already mentioned. Having a peaceful environment, creating a productive daily routine and upkeeping your social and physical health are all key to your mental health.
We wanted to highlight mindfulness because this is sometimes overlooked in the workplace, and we found there are some small things you can do to boost your mood (and therefore your productivity and motivation!) while working from home.
Try creating a peaceful atmosphere using candles, displaying your favourite artwork or quotes and listening to some background music. If possible, it’s a great idea to place your desk near a window. Natural sunlight and an outside view stop you from feeling like you’re ‘boxed up’ inside and are a great mood booster.
If you have implemented any of these ideas into your working from home routine or have some new ideas for us, we’d love to hear them! Let us know on social media or tag us in your ‘boss’ home office setup pics on instagram @socialmediatribe