Whether it’s a permanent move or just temporary, working from home can bring about mixed emotions. On one hand, working from home means no commute, comfy clothes, and the convenience of just being in your own space. Some studies even suggest that working from home actually increases our productivity.
However, working and living under the same roof can prove to be challenging. When leaving work to go home and relax now means you’re not necessarily even leaving the same room, working from home can get really old really fast. Here are a few tips to help the transition from office to home.
Fancy suits are not required (unless that’s your thing – in that case, go for it!), but changing out of your pajamas is highly recommended. Showering, brushing your hair, putting on clean clothes, and if you want, adding a little mascara can help create a sense of routine. Continuing to implement the same steps used when getting ready to leave for the office can further ease the transition to working from home.
Separate workspace from where you sleep
Working from your bed can be so tempting when working from home. However, working in the same space you sleep can make it harder for your brain to shut off each day. If you have an extra room to turn into a home office, that’s great. But if you don’t – creating a new office space at home can be just as easy. Setting up a workspace at your kitchen table, patio, or even the couch in your living room can create a space dedicated to working each day that’s not your bedroom. Having a dedicated “work spot” helps your body to know when it’s time to be productive and when it’s time to shut off.
And if you want to spend a day working remotely out of the house – coffee shops, libraries, and coworking spaces are great options, too!
Take breaks throughout the day
Taking breaks throughout your workday is important. Doing a quick, 30-minute workout in the afternoon, going on a walk mid-morning, or taking a break during lunch to watch a Netflix episode are examples of easy ways to get a brain-break in during the day. Taking breaks decreases burnout, allowing you to be more productive during the hours you’re working.
And most importantly, don’t neglect eating! Make sure to keep up with your regular meal times and take breaks throughout the day to grab lunch or a snack to keep your body fueled. And as you’re reading this article right now, let this serve as your reminder to go drink some water!
Set boundaries for work hours
Having a home office that’s just a few feet away at all times can be tempting to continue working during your off-hours. Strive to continue working 9-5 or the normal hours you would work at the office. Just because your work is always nearby and readily available, doesn’t mean you need to be working more than before. Make sure to set boundaries with both yourself and your coworkers of when you’ll be working and when you’ll be offline in order to keep that line between working and living in the same space.
Depending on who you live with, working from home can get a little lonely. Not going into an office setting and seeing people can prove to be difficult over time – we all need social interaction. Take time each day to check in with your friends, family, and even coworkers. FaceTime, lunch dates, a quick text, and classic snail mail are easy ways to touch base with people each day.
Do things you enjoy
Before the workday begins or after it ends, invest in you and what you enjoy doing. Reading, watching tv, doing a Bible study, working out, listening to podcasts, doing a puzzle, taking a long bath – whatever it looks like for you, make time to do it. You were created to work, but also created to relax and enjoy life so don’t neglect that part of the day. Make time to have a little fun each day.
Working from home can be a huge adjustment, especially if you’re used to being in an office setting every day. Give yourself some time, and grace, to get adjusted. You’ll be a pro in no time.
Laura Ritchie was born and raised in Alabama but was called to Dallas, Texas, after graduating from The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). She’s currently a project manager at a digital agency and loves to spend her time going on walks, trying new restaurants and being a Young Life leader. As a believer and Type 3 enneagram, Laura is passionate about helping others discover their God-given purpose and walking in a life of true freedom and joy.
Follow along with her on Instagram @llauraritchie