5 Tips for Successfully Working from Home
An article by Kristin Frame, Executive Recruiter at Hirenomics
As many of us transitioned to working from home when COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, I quickly realized some things that I needed to hold myself accountable for and also stay away from.
1. Keep a Schedule
Keeping a regular schedule is KEY to my own personal mental and physical health. Yes, working from home is GREAT, but the fatigue can hit so easily. It is all too easy to stay glued to the computer from 7AM-7PM, knowing I don’t have an hour commute home. But that’s not sustainable, and sure, there are some days that are longer than others.
Instead of feeling like I “needed” to start work at 7AM because I’m up and ready, I’ve instead used that time for myself, for reading or taking a walk or cooking a healthy breakfast before getting my day started. Now, I can wake up at my usual 6AM time, enjoy an hour or 2 of “me” time before I start a productive day. Instead of working until 7PM at night, or later, just because it’s convenient, doesn’t add up in the long run. Instead of being dialed in for 12 hours, keeping a more consistent schedule and making myself turn off the emails and computer for the night is key.
2. Get Dressed
Keep your work regimen as normal as going into the office. Sure, there are exceptions here, but I’ve found that when I get ready for the day, get dressed in work attire, I feel more organized. I feel more productive. Yes, I absolutely love the days of working in sweatpants and a sweatshirt or what we call our “quitters”…it doesn’t provide the same mentality of getting a work shirt and adding some mascara.
3. TAKE BREAKS!
We are not in an environment in which we have to clock in and out, however, I have found that I can go hours without standing up or taking a monitor break. Now, working from home, I can easily take my dog on a 30-minute walk between phone calls or step outside without having it be some big production of leaving the office, taking the elevator outside, walk to the walking path etc. I personally have just found being from home makes the mindset of taking a break different.
4. Making time to cook – even if you continue to “think” about work!
I have time to cook a healthy meal, for all meals, versus the ordering in or flying out the door in the morning and forgetting to bring a lunch (or pack one the night before). Scheduling this time into my day has actually afforded me to step away from the computer, make mental lists of what is next, or to think through an issue or how to approach a conversation. Nowadays, instead of the previous me seeing this time as wasteful, I’m more productive while returning to the computer or phone calls fresh.
5. Set limits
When you are responding to emails at 10PM at night, it becomes “expected” or nothing new. Sure, an email here or there as a quick response to a client, I have no problem with. But if it’s something that can wait until next business day or is a non-emergency, I don’t feel as if I have to have my phone glued to my hand all evening…and “walking away” from work for the day/night has positively afforded me healthy mental breaks.