I Finally Can Work from Home
Remember that time, not so long ago, when you wished that you could work from home? Even if it was just one day a week (Friday if your boss was open to suggestions). If you’re like most of the workforce right now, that wish finally came true. Though of course, the circumstances that pushed us into our homes aren’t the best, we can still appreciate this gift.
However, working from home every once in a while vs. full time for the foreseeable future is a whole different kind of deal.
So welcome to your survival guide. In this article, we will be tackling some main issues you have probably encountered: time and space.
Build Your Space
It is so important to build your workspace. Forcing yourself out of bed and around the corner to the kitchen table every morning can begin to feel a bit unmotivating. Create a space that makes you excited to show up for work. Order those succulents off Amazon, buy that wall tapestry or poster that makes you feel happy, light that gifted candle you forgot you had. It doesn’t have to be a big space. Find a corner, a table, or a tucked away nook that is separate from your relaxing space and make it your office.
This brings me to another space you should designate; your relaxing space. Just like you should not eat, watch tv, exercise, and sleep in the same space, you should try to keep your work and outside work spaces separate. I know sometimes this isn’t possible in smaller apartments or if you are forced to work in your bedroom, but the brain shift if you can accomplish this will be big. The routine of sitting down in those different areas will trigger different reactions in your mind, giving you that push when it is time to work and that stress-free zone when the work is done.
I Have Roommates
These are a toss-up depending on your personality. I know some people who are loving living alone at the moment, while others are feeling grateful to have another person to hunker down with. If you fall in the latter category of a roommate, chances are you are both working from home, and perhaps now you are reaching a breaking point.
Setting rules and designated workspaces for each of you is an important step to take to make this transition easier. Set aside a time to discuss and write down expectations so everyone is on the same page. Go through what your expected quiet hours are, will you be exercising in the apartment/house, will you be cooking your meals together or separate, ect. Once everyone knows what to expect at 3 pm in the afternoon, being constantly together will not be as stressful.
I Lose Track of Time and Feel Overwhelmed
When you take away the usual signs of Karen heading out to lunch, suddenly you keep missing it. Working in an office gives you certain time signals that you will not be getting working from home, so it is important to block your day and even set alarms if needed.
Without the pressure to leave the computer behind and go grab lunch with your co-worker, you might work through till 5 pm. Without the odd meeting or coffee break to distract you, hours might pass without you getting up from your chair. A quiet, controlled space like your home can often suck you into work and not let go. Create a daily schedule to ensure you are still getting those breaks. Set an alarm that signals when it is lunchtime and another for the end of the day. Setting your hours will ensure you don’t keep falling back to the ‘just one more email’ routine that leaves you feeling exhausted and overworked.
Six o’clock end time means six o’clock end time. We are all dealing with the stresses of the current situation, and overworking will only make it harder. If you are able to leave your house, head outside for a walk or run after the workday is done and consider it your commute. Use your ‘commute’ home to officially let go of the day and leave the stress outside.