When transitioning from a formal workplace to a work-from-home environment, it can be challenging to find a balance. Working from home lacks the structure of a normal day working in an office. There is no longer a need to “get ready” or rush out the door to beat the morning rush while making time to stop for coffee.
So, instead of getting ready for the day, many remote workers sleep as late as they can before opening their laptop from the comfort of their beds. While this may seem like an ideal way to start the workday, it’s not a great way to set yourself up for success.
I’ve been successfully working from home for 3-years and have some tips to help you make the transition from an office to your living room more successful.
Let’s get started
Plan your day
As I stated above, working from home lacks the same structure as working in a formal office environment. So, it’s important to create that atmosphere on your own. Schedule breaks, lunches, meetings to collaborate with your teammates, and, most importantly, have a hard-stop time.
Having a hard-stop time will help you create some work-life separation, which will be imperative to your happiness and keep you from getting burned out.
Have a set workspace
Creating a space specifically for work can help keep you on track and away from distractions.
When choosing a workspace, try to find one that’s not near a tv or your bed so you won’t be tempted to take a nap or turn on your favorite show while you work.
We’re not all fortunate enough to have an extra room to convert to an office, so this might take some creativity.
Distractions come in many forms. For me, it’s difficult to work when the area around me isn’t clean or if I know that I didn’t wash dishes before I went to bed the night before. So, to avoid distractions during my workday, I try to get all my household chores done at night and wake up to a clean home.
If there’s something that distracts you from working, like roommates or even the sound of traffic in an area of your home, do what you can to avoid them.
Keep in touch with your team
Working from home is a big transition. Your colleagues are no longer there to bounce ideas off of, and you’ll no longer be able to grab lunch with the guy in the cube next door. Working from home can get lonely.
One way I save my sanity is to schedule calls with my teammates. They’re not always task-oriented but rather, social calls where we simply talk about our days, any roadblocks we’re facing, and how we can help each other out.
This helps us work as a team and feel like we’re not alone in our daily struggles.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
When working from home, it’s easy to literally not move all day. Your workspace is generally near the kitchen, which makes it easy to snack and stay almost sedentary. Go for a walk, get some sunshine, and don’t snack because you’re bored.
I’ve found that taking a midday break to go for a walk or hit the gym makes me happier and more productive.
While it can be difficult at first to transition to a work-from-home lifestyle, it gets easier with time. By putting the tips above into practice, you’ll be able to maintain a better work-life balance while successfully completing your daily responsibilities.