Are you new to working from home? Here are our top tips from Enable’s Work-From-Home pros.
1. Optimize Your Work Setting
- Create a dedicated work space. Defining the lines between your work space at home and your living space at home does wonders for helping you feel balanced and energized. It doesn’t have to be a desk, but we have found if we are sitting in a chair at some sort of table versus sitting on the couch, our productivity skyrockets. While it’s really nice to work from your couch every now and then, try to mimic an office environment most of the time.
- Cozy up your work space with a candle, diffuser, blanket, slippers, a plant… whatever floats your boat. Enable team members shared pictures of our Work From Home spaces on our company Teams channel so that we could all feel a little more connected.
- Set the precedent that when you’re sitting at your “desk,” you’re working. When you’re sitting on your couch, you’re not! Our brains like order and definition, and this could also help other family members who are also at home respect your work boundaries.
- If you have kids at home, have a red and green sign you put outside your office door or on the back of your chair. If it’s green, the kids can come in if needed. If it’s red, this means it’s an important call and you’re not to be disturbed!
- You might work better when you feel good and are a little more “put together” than just rolling out of bed. Think “Casual Friday” instead of “Pajama Party” when getting ready for your day.
- Play around with different background noises. Maybe the TV on all day is a distraction. Try instrumental music or classical music instead. Or turn on a fan so it’s not dead silence.
2. Manage and Maintain Your Calendar
- Create at least one standing recurring meeting (ie. The Enable marketing team blocks off 1 hour every Monday at 10am to check in with each other). This helps establish routine and consistency, and acts as a form of accountability.
- Honor your regular work hours… sit down when you normally get to the office for the day, actually take your normal lunch break, and try and close your computer when your normal work day ends, if you are able. Maintaining a sense of your regular work hours while at home will be key for healthy work-life balance.
- In the same way you would catch up with a coworker over lunch, FaceTime a friend or eat with your kids during your lunch break. The socializing will give your brain a nice boost!
3. Time Block Your Day
- THIS. IS. SO. HELPFUL. Use this tip for all of the things you have to get done that aren’t on your calendar. When your office is also your home, time can play funny tricks. It can seem like the time just crawls on, and then all of the sudden hours just fly by, rolling into one another. Time blocking helps you schedule out your tasks during the day and gives you some structure with start and end times.
- Schedule out hours for specific tasks and HONOR those appointments with yourself like you would a meeting with a coworker.
- Check out this downloadable template for our Productivity Booster to help you with daily scheduling for both work and personal time. Our WFH team members have found this extremely helpful!
4. Work in Healthy Brain-Breaks
- At an office, there are natural things that break up the day – a conversation with a coworker on the way to the breakroom, leaving the office for lunch – things that when you are working from home (and in the case of COVID-19, quarantined alone at home) don’t exist!
- Get creative! Try and add in some screen-free things since almost 100% of working from home entails looking at a screen.
- Do a short high knees + jumping jacks circuit in your living room in between virtual meetings.
- Set an alarm for 15 minutes between tasks to read a book or draw.
- Get outside, even if it’s only for 5 minutes! Walk around the block or if it’s a sunny day, just sit and feel the heat of the sun, or play with your kids for 5 minutes. This changes your scenery and prevents burn out.
- Give yourself little incentives… “Once I finish writing this portion of the blog post I’m working on, I will go make myself a cup of tea.”
- Here is a great list of mental health tips.