With everyone working from home nowadays because of the coronavirus outbreak, it can be challenging to separate your work life from your personal life. If you're new to working remotely, here are eleven habits to make your work from home life easier:
1. Maintain regular hours
To establish clear boundaries between your work and home life, you should set a schedule and stick to it. Having a very structured routine can help you maintain a better work-life balance. You can use apps, such as RescueTime, to check in on whether you're sticking to your schedule.
2. Establish a morning routine
Create a morning routine that'll help you start work. That might mean going jogging and then drinking a cup of coffee. It might also mean showering and getting dressed. Remember that a routine is way more powerful than a clock at helping you get started.
3. Schedule breaks
Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you don't need regular breaks. Make sure to allow yourself a few 15-minute breaks along with a lunch hour during your workday.
4. Get some fresh air
For your own mental and physical health, be sure to go outside for a walk to get some fresh air. Your body needs to move, and the fresh air and natural light will do you a world of good.
5. Ask for what you need
Be sure to ask your company or organization for support with your work-from-home setup by requesting the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home. Be sure to set precedents early on that you'll ask for whatever you need to do your job comfortably.
6. Carve out an office space
Not everyone has a separate office in their home, and that's okay. At the very least, dedicate a desk and some peripherals only for work use. For example, you could use your dining room table and area as a makeshift desk and office space.
7. Use a VPN
You should use a VPN whenever you're connected to a network that you don't control. Some organizations have their own VPNs that remote employees need to access certain servers that store information meant for internal use. It's always safer to have VPN than not, so get into the habit of using it.
8. Don't forget to socialize
Common problems with working from home include loneliness, disconnect, and isolation, especially if you're extroverted. Take advantage of ways to socialize with your coworkers by utilizing Zoom and chat channels to talk about common interests.
9. Take sick days
When you're not feeling well, don't forget to take the sick time you need. If sick days are a part of your compensation, take the time off that you need. Even if you don't have official sick days, keep in mind that it's best to rest and get better so you can be productive in the long run.
10. Be positive
When you work remotely from home, you've got to be overly positive in your messages to coworkers. That's because the less face time you have with others, the more likely it is that there will be miscommunications. Since it can be harder to interpret tone in writing, you want to come across as extra friendly.
11. Maintain a separate phone number
To ensure that your work life and personal life stay separate, set up a phone number that you only use for calls with coworkers and clients. You can use a free VoIP service, such as Google voice or a Skype number.
- "20 Tips for Working from Home," PC Magazine, March 20, 2020.
- "10 Great Habits for Working at Home," INC, n.d.