Are you a fan of working from home or do you prefer to be at the office? While working at home sounds like a dream for some people, it can be a real challenge for others. We’ll show you how to find and maintain your work life balance with our working from home tips.
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What is Working from Home?
Due to the restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, working from home has become the norm in many industries, so you’ve probably already done it at some point last year, at the very latest. Because new structures have been developed to make more companies accommodate remote workers, it will probably stick around after Covid 19 in one form or another. But is working remotely always the same as working from home?
“Working from home ” or in a “home office” counts as teleworking: a flexible form of work in which technology enables remote workers to complete tasks from home or in another private environment. Telework is commonly categorized into one of three forms: permanent home-based teleworking or telecommuting, alternating teleworking, and mobile teleworking.
With the first type, you work from home exclusively. With alternating teleworking, you work from home for part of your work hours and the rest in your workplace. This is probably the most common version. Mobile telecommuting is working on the road. For example, you schedule work time to get through your tasks in a cafe, in the car, or on the train1.
Need an extra boost drawing a line between work and play? Check out our article on Work-Life Balance for the best tips.
Remote work can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you don’t have to make the commute, you can be more flexible when organizing your working hours, and you have more control over your space. On the other hand, you need more self-discipline and the ability to clearly separate your home life from your work.
While for some employees there is nothing better than working from home, others miss the structured work schedule or daily small talk with colleagues. If you’ve been having a hard time finding a good balance between productivity and personal life when you stay at home, or you’ve noticed that you’re moving less than you used to – Don’t worry! You’re not alone. We’ve prepared a few tips to help anyone ace working from home.
Tips for Working Productively in Your Home Office
Watching a YouTube video here, scrolling through your smartphone there – we all procrastinate from time to time and put off our tasks. But the risk of distraction is especially high when you’re working next to your bedroom. Here are a few tips to help you stay productive in your full-time work at home:
#1 Eliminate distractions
Check your Facebook or Instagram account quickly, read a few messages, then hang up some laundry – and an hour is gone pretty quickly. To avoid procrastinating from your work, it’s best to leave distractions like your smartphone in another room and do those chores during your break time.
Speaking of breaks, fixed break times are essential. They give you structure and a much-needed moment to rest. While some tend to make their lunch breaks too long, others skip them completely. Both habits can lower productivity, so schedule set break times and try to stick to them!
#2 Find your rhythm
Want to reach peak productivity, commonly known as a “flow” state? Then you should listen to yourself and take note of the times when you are particularly productive every day. For example, one person might be at their prime early in the morning, while another focuses better later in the day.
Once you figure out your own rhythm, distribute your to-dos throughout the day accordingly and complete the most challenging tasks during your own personal power hour.
#3 Incorporate rituals
Rituals are useful for getting more done and separating work from free time as clearly as possible. An important characteristic of rituals is regularity. For example, you can deliberately dress for your workday in the morning, in order to mentally prepare yourself for work.
A ritual at the end of the day is also important. Many people have trouble making the transition once they’ve got their work done, if only because there is no commute and no change of location. Mark the end of the workday by changing back into something more comfortable, cooking yourself something delicious, or doing a home workout.
Our tip: Closing time means closing your laptop and clearing off your desk. Done? Great! How about an invigorating workout after sitting at your desk all day?
If you need inspiration, check out our workouts! You don’t need any equipment so you can get started right away!
A workday full of deadlines and business appointments can take a toll on you. At home, unfamiliar stressors like noise from neighbors, kids, other family members, dogs barking, or construction site noise adds to the mix. To generate more relaxation despite stressful situations, try some of the following anti-stress strategies:
#1 Energize with a Power Nap.
A short nap of 10 to 20 minutes during your break sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? Best of all, your actual bed is just a few steps away from your computer screen, and you’ll up your performance as well! Why? Power napping has a restorative effect and can help you be more relaxed and focused to get work done. Sometime mid-afternoon, many of us get tired and less productive, so it’s the perfect time to rest your eyes for a while. To find out how to incorporate power napping into your schedule, check out our article Power Napping in 4 Easy Steps.
#2 Keep in touch with co-workers, not just your manager.
You and your co-workers are all in the same boat. The small talk during your coffee or lunch break is gone and you’re on your own. Instead of giving up and giving in to doomscrolling, stay connected with your colleagues with routine chat messages, a call, or a joint virtual lunch. Social contact is also enormously important in a workplace (even if that place is now virtual) and can help to lighten the mood, build a sense of community, improve team communication, and reduce work stress.
#3 Spend time with your pet.
Believe it or not, a short play or a cuddle session with your dog or cat (or guinea pig!) can help you combat work stress and improve your state of mind. Cuddling and playing release the hormone oxytocin, which regulates blood pressure and cortisol levels, making you feel more relaxed. Don’t have a pet, don’t worry! Oxytocin is also released when you listen to music or meditate.
Here’s How You Can Stay Fit at Home
Let’s be honest, how much do you move around when you work from home? Recent studies2 have shown that many people working at home are less physically active and suffer from back pain more often than before. If the longest distance you walk during the day is to and from your fridge, we have just the tips for you:
#1 Consciously incorporate more movement into your day
Sitting in front of a video call for long periods of time, a slouched posture, tasks with one-sided muscle strain, and a stressful schedule can all negatively impact your well-being. Try to consciously take regular, active breaks, or just change your position as much as possible. Stand up, walk a little, or get a glass of water. Use your lunch break to go for a walk, ride your bike, or do some stretching exercises. You’ll get out of your sitting position for a moment and have more movement as part of your day.
#2 Use the extra time to the fullest
If you work remotely, you probably have your workspace right at home, which saves you the time that you would normally spend on your morning commute. Take advantage of this and start your day with a round of morning exercises. And if you’re not an early bird, a little home workout during your break or right after work is a great way to boost your day. It doesn’t take much time: Just slip into your gym clothes and you’re good to go.
#3 Make time for your meals
Eating quickly at your desk or grabbing some chips and chocolate to snack on – it’s easy to nibble throughout the day when your own kitchen is only a few steps away. But a balanced diet is not only essential for your well-being, it also improves your performance at work.
But because you’re at home, you can also take advantage of that and prepare fresh food for lunch. Try to eat light meals so you don’t feel tired after eating and can stay focused. Enjoy your meals and focus on the taste by sitting in some natural light away from your computer and putting your smartphone aside. After all, you deserve some time off from your office job routine!
If you get a little hungry in between meals, grab a healthy snack and always have a glass of water on your desk. Your brain needs to stay hydrated to keep up good blood circulation and be able to concentrate fully.
Our tip: For more inspiration, take a moment to check out our recipes. They’re simple, healthy, and delicious!
Working from home can lead to less movement throughout your day, difficulty staying productive, and more distractions.
Playing for a bit with your pet or taking a power nap can help you reduce work stress.
Maintain your social connections at work and make sure to spend some time with your team on google hangouts outside of official video meetings.
Fixed breaks and rituals provide structure and increase your productivity.
Eat far away from your computer and keyboard and enjoy your home-cooked meal at the kitchen table.
It’s a good idea to change your sitting position frequently, walk around your living room a bit, or go for a stroll in the fresh air during your break to stay active.
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