As COVID-19 swept across the globe in 2020, many people who had never worked from home were suddenly forced to do so. In some cases, companies found that they were able to keep their employees home even after the pandemic somewhat slowed down. Whether you’re working at home through the remainder of the pandemic or for the foreseeable future, there are a few things that you can do to keep your productivity and morale up.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to roll out of bed and slowly make yourself to your desk when you work from home. You likely won’t see any other people throughout the day if you don’t have meetings and can get yourself ready before you leave to go out when you’re finished for work. However, it’s important that you keep up on your regular personal routine to keep yourself motivated during your workday.
Wearing athleisure clothing is a comfortable way to work, but workout clothes head to toe can make it easy to slide from your chair over to your bed for a snooze. Get dressed before you start working and wear something that will keep you productive.
Work Your Normal Hours
One of the benefits of working from home is that you’re more likely to have flexible hours. You don’t have to commute to the office to get to your computer so you could theoretically work a few hours here and there to meet whatever requirement your company has set. Try to avoid this by working your normal schedule. If you clocked in at 8 am when you were in the office, continue to clock in at 8 am when you’re at home. This will make it easier to get your work done as well as keep you in a normal habit if you have to return to the office.
Don’t ignore your body when you feel uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean work from bed. Rather, it means that if your neck feels stiff because your computer monitor is at an awkward angle or your back hurts from your chair, you should do something about it. Something as minor as having your head turned to look at your monitor as you work can cause pain in your muscles in your neck, shoulders, and even your shoulder blades. Ensure that your seat is comfortable, your monitor is positioned in the right place in front of you, and your keyboard is a proper distance from your body. You’ll be glad you paid attention to these details at the end of the day.
Take Scheduled Breaks
It’s easy to make sure you’re getting your breaks in the office because you need to get up to walk to the break room for a cup of coffee or a snack. When you work from home, you can have more food handy so you don’t have to get up from your desk. Schedule yourself several breaks throughout the day so that you’re not only getting up and stretching your legs periodically but also giving your eyes a break from your computer screen to prevent eye strain.
Set Rules With People in Your Home
It’s not uncommon when working from home for those who live with you to feel like they can come to sit in your space and talk your ear off or call you away from your desk for menial tasks. Make rules for family members or roommates to let them know that you need to get work done. Remind them that you will take breaks and you can socialize then. Otherwise, you could be drawn away from your workstation for much longer than intended and your productivity will drop.
Participate in Your Meetings
Working from home means virtual meetings and pieces of training. These often come with at least one person how is still struggling to get their microphone working or another who needs assistance with how to set up screen record for later. They often drag on much longer than they need to and most of us don’t like them. However, it is still important to participate in meetings. This keeps you engaged with your coworkers and other people for that matter. When you work from home, it’s possible to go consecutive days without interacting with anyone who lives outside of your house, so your meetings are a great way to do this.
Get Out of the House
This brings us to our next point: get out of the house. Create reasons for yourself to get out of the house. Go for a walk around the block or go to the store and walk around for a little while. You don’t have to buy anything when you’re walking around the store, but it’s important to get out of the house, see other people, and get some fresh air.
Enjoy Your Time
It’s not uncommon to have to commute anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to work each day. One of the great parts about working from home is that you don’t have to. Your long commute is reduced to walking across the house or simply across the bedroom. This gives you at least an extra 40 minutes a day to do something you want to do. Whether you want to start a new hobby, spend more time with family, or simply relax, that time is yours. Enjoy it while you have it.