Ask anyone who works remotely or runs a business from their home - it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. While you may be more productive working outside of a conventional office, you may also be more vulnerable to working long hours and greater stress. Whether you’re a work from home veteran, or have recently started for the first time because of the pandemic, you’ll be happier and more productive when you meet the typical work from home challenges head on.
Stop Working Over-Hours
You may have to trick yourself into taking breaks throughout the day, and you should really set a clear start and end time, otherwise you risk burning yourself at.
Try setting appointments on your calendar for the end of the day to get yourself out of the house. It could just be the gym, grocery shopping, or a simple walk around the block, but getting yourself out of the house is key to winding down your day.
Set reminders to take breaks and make sure you take them! In macOS, set the clock settings to announce the time each hour to remind you to get up and stretch, grab some water, and take a quick screen break
Make a note to your team when you’re leaving for the day. A quick email, text or announcement in Slack to let them know you are now OOO can go a long way.
Turn notifications off your phone and computer after work so you’re not pulled back into work
Create a New Routine
You no longer have to get up as early or commute, but that doesn't mean you should roll out of bed and into work. Create a morning routine that includes:
Getting dressed- yes dressed. It doesn't need to be as formal as the office, but the simple act of changing out of your pyjamas can have a huge impact on your day.
Time before work to do something else. Whether it’s walking the dog, getting in a workout, or doing a meditation, don’t just roll out of bed and straight into work.
Keep work in a dedicated space. When you move into this space, your body will signal that it’s time to get to work.
Turn off distractions
It can be tempting to stay up to date with the news- especially during this time. Or maybe you have Netflix or a podcast lingering in a hidden window on your computer. When it’s time to work, turn off all social media notifications or news alerts, set an alarm for a break, and get to work.
End your day right
Turn off your computer, tidy your workspace and “leave” the office. This simple act can help you transition out of work mode. If you use your personal computer for work, create separate accounts on your computer for work and personal. Logging out of one user and logging into the other is another way to switch out of work mode.
Try a co-working space
With working from a coffee shop no longer being an option, a great alternative (and arguably a better alternative) is to get a membership at a local co-working community. Sometimes, no matter what you do, simply working somewhere other than your house can be the cure to work from home burnout. Some benefits of a co-working space are:
Structure. Getting up and going to a destination to work, and then leaving at the end of the day helps you to find a balanced routine between work and home.
Be more productive. Less distractions and an office environment can help you get into flow faster and for longer
Networking & Community. Feeling lonely at home? Co-working gives you a great opportunity to network for your business and to find other like minded individuals that you can connect with on both a personal and professional level.
Switch back to phone and emails
Zoom fatigue is real. Especially when it’s calls with the office all day, and then a friends and family call at night.
Check your calendar and see if there are any conversations that you can move to email or phone. Believe it or not, you can still get a lot accomplished without staring at someones face over webcam.
If 4pm rolls around and you’re zoom-ed out, ask if you can switch to a phone call or move to tomorrow until you’ve recharged. Most likely, the other person will be relieved with the switch as well.