9 Rules To Follow If You Work From Home
Working from home is a great option to ensure that you don’t get sucked in a monotonous job that requires long hours and pays inadequate compensation. For a lot of people, especially those with families and young children, it means being able to structure their working hours according to what works for them and being more present in the lives of those that matter the most.
But there are also some pitfalls that you need to avoid when you make the decision to start working from home. Productivity is the number one thing that suffers, as an office environment is geared to maximize this. Being in the comfort of your own home may trigger your sense of ease, making you feel lethargic.
The good thing is that you can ensure that you’re making the best out of the opportunity by taking just a few steps. Read on to find out 9 rules you need to follow if you work from home, to make sure that you have the best work/life balance – that elusive thing that seems like it’s always unreachable!
1. Set Boundaries
Working from home gives you the freedom to choose your hours, but this can also mean that you slip into negative habits like working long hours in the evening or waking up at noon to start work. The best thing to do would be to set clear boundaries for yourself, defining the hours in which you are supposed to work and when you’re not. Not only will this prevent you from overworking yourself, it will also make sure that you don’t waste time.
2. Stock Up on Healthy Treats
Most offices have snacks stacked in their pantries to ensure their employees stay energized throughout the day. Since your home is your office and you are your own manager, you need to be the one to do this.
Make sure your kitchen is stocked with tasty and healthy treats – otherwise you’ll find yourself ordering fast food when that hunger pang hits. And if you live in a house with small children/other distractions, just keep these snacks in your desk drawer in your office room.
3. Try to Work Out Every Day
This is something that everybody should strive to achieve, regardless of if they work from home or not. However, people who work from home have the unique ability to adjust their schedules better to fit in a 10-minute workout.
You could go for a short run, do some cardio out on the lawn, or take your dog out for a walk – whatever suits you best. This could be in the morning before you start work or during your lunch break, but it will certainly find you have a lot more energy throughout the day. Light exercise has actually been proven to boost motivation, energy, and productivity. Plus, it’ll help you stay fit!
4. Set Time Aside for Lunch
Just like you would in an office, give yourself designated a lunch break every day at the same time for the same duration. Once you’re done with your meal, you could use the leftover time to get some fresh air, spend a bit of time with your family, or even have a little cat nap!
5. Implement a Proper Morning Routine
A good morning routine is a catalyst to a great day that is productive and positive. Something as simple as cooking breakfast for yourself, walking your dog, doing some yoga, meditation, or even listening to relaxing music can help a lot in preparing you for the day of work ahead. Take care of yourself first, and then the work will come easily.
6. Have a Designated Office
The best part about working in a traditional office is that your brain automatically resets to work mode once you enter the building. Jumping from work to relaxation in the same space can be confusing when one works from home.
The best way to combat this issue is to have a designated “office” in your home which is used only for work. If you have space, you can dedicate an entire room for this, but if not, even clearing a corner of the room for your desk and laptop will help. Keep the area tidy, well-lit, and comfortable.
7. Move Around More
Modern jobs require very little physical activity – the most exercise most people get is walking to the subway or walking to a restaurant at lunchtime. If you work from home, you literally only have to walk a few steps to go from your sleeping space to your working space. Sedentary lifestyles are one of the leading causes of several life-threatening conditions like diabetes and heart disease, to name a couple.
This is why it’s important to make time to move around as much as possible. If you don’t have time for exercise, maybe you can take your lunch to a nearby park or fit in some chores that you can do by walking throughout the day.
8. Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule
At some point or the other, all of us have felt like smashing the alarm when it rings in the morning. This is because we don’t have consistent bedtime and waking times.
An adult needs about 8 hours of sleep per night and set sleep timings to ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep every night, ensuring that you’re energized during the day. When you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, your body’s internal clock resets to fit this routine – making the need for an alarm obsolete.
9. Dress Nicely
Many people end up staying in their pajamas all day long when they work at home since they figure no one’s going to see them anyway. But this can make them feel lazy and unproductive as they never left their “sleep” phase in the first place.
You don’t have to get all fancy with a suit and tie, but have a shower every morning and change it comfortable, but nice clothes. Ask yourself this as you get ready to start work: “Would I be comfortable with the way I look if I were working in an actual office with?”