Many of us have made major adjustments to our daily routines over the past few months -- like learning how to work from home. These changes have not been easy, particularly when we’re used to the close proximity of coworkers and collaborators. Not to mention, the lack of structure can be difficult to maintain a sense of productivity and mental wellness long term.
While there are certainly pros and cons to a home office, small adjustments can make this change a bit more seamless. If you’re seeking a bit more structure in your home office or a refresh in your WFH practice, take a look at these five ways to create a healthy, socially-distant routine.
Create A Designated Work Space
Before 2020, many of us were used to commuting to our offices and leaving at the end of the day. This gave us a direct sense when the workday began and ended. However, those lines may be more easily blurred when working from our home. It can be difficult to “shut off” our brains at the end of a workday and, it may take more time to achieve focus on those Monday morning Zoom calls.
One simple way to provide a greater sense of structure is to create a designated workspace. Set aside a room or desk that is solely used for work. That way, when you enter the space, your mind is able to differentiate between the “office” and “home”.
“Do Not Disturb” After Hours
Technology has enabled us to seamlessly communicate with people across the globe. It’s an amazing tool that makes remote work possible. However, when we’re always plugged-in, our mental health may be deeply affected. One simple way to create a boundary when working from home is to utilize our smartphone’s “do not disturb” feature. This will allow all notifications to come through on the phone, without alert-based interruptions. Simply enable this feature after work hours. This will help create a sense of space from job demands after you’ve signed off.
Invest In Your Desk
Just as having a designated workspace is vital to productivity, taking the details of this space into consideration will serve you as well. Consider a standing desk, to enhance your posture as you answer emails, or opt for an adjustable station that provides flexibility throughout the day. Whichever works best for you, consider this purchase an investment in your overall wellbeing.
Take Moving Breaks
Studies have long proven that taking breaks throughout the workday help employees feel refreshed and productive. But working from home gives you a leg up on the type of breaks. Use those moments to move your body - whether you stretch for a few minutes, do a short yoga routine, go for a walk, or have a mini dance party. Moving your body keeps endorphins high and allows you to return to your desk with greater clarity.
“Pack” Your Lunch
Okay, you don’t really need to brown-bag your lunch every day. However, meal-prepping and setting aside a designated lunch hour will help eliminate one more decision from your already busy schedule. Plus, working from home gives more opportunities to prioritize nutritious meals! Just make sure to take your full lunch break -- away from your desk -- to enable a mental reset in the middle of your workday.