As entrepreneurs and small business owners, Stephanos knows a thing or two about working from home. We’ve been doing it since long before this unprecedented time, so it’s definitely not new to us. But we understand that for many people, transitioning to working at your humble abode from your previous work environment can be challenging and confusing. Not to toot our own horns, but we do consider ourselves to be experts on this subject, so we thought we’d use that expertise to bring you a collection of tips for making the transition to working remotely smoother and more comfortable.
1.Set up a workspace and keep it that way. Taking your work from room to room all over your home won’t do you any favors in terms of productivity, because there won’t be consistency. Imagine if you moved offices every day - that would be unsettling, not to mention distracting! Speaking of distractions, make sure your workspace is free from them. The living room isn’t a great choice because the comfort of your couch combined with the television can make it too tempting to veer off course and engage in recreational time instead of getting your work done.
Try to set up in a quiet, accessible space with nothing that will take you away from your tasks.
If you’re lucky enough to have an office or spare room, use it. Otherwise, consider using your bedroom - as long as you can resist crawling into bed for a nap! Wherever you set up shop, be sure it’s somewhere you have all the supplies you need, and all the peace and quiet you require, with minimal distractions to keep you on top of your game.
2. Make a schedule and stick to it. We know the comforts of home can make it difficult to do this, but setting regular work hours will help you get – and stay – in a groove. It’s a strange time, and routines can fall to the wayside as a result of an absence of normalcy. However, it will really help you stay focused if you can create your own normal, and a huge part of that is routine. If you start and end work at the same time each day, and devote certain chunks of time to certain tasks, you’ll find your day will be much more productive than if you just wing it.
We know it’s tempting to toss a strict schedule out the window when working from home, but in our experience, a schedule is a very healthy way to establish an efficient work from home routine. So get out some paper and a pen and make a definitive schedule! You’ll be glad you did.
3. Give yourself breaks. On the flip side of being too flexible, being too rigid with yourself can cause exhaustion, which can increase stress and actually decrease your productivity. As important as it is to stick to your work schedule, it’s also crucial to schedule break times and stay true to them. Don’t be fooled by the temptation to work through the entire day without stopping. When you don't have coworkers around you heading out for lunch or making their way to the staff room, it can be difficult to know when it’s time to take a breather, so take it upon yourself to set specific lunch and break times where you take time for yourself to nourish your body and take a breather.
Pushing yourself too hard will lower your immune system, amp up anxiety, and have an ultimately negative impact on your work, so give yourself the break you deserve! Drink plenty of fluids and don’t forget to fill up on food. If you’ve got time left in your allotted break, do something relaxing, but don’t use this time to do housework or errands. Instead, let the focus of your break be “me time”. Your mind, body, and the quality of your work will thank you for it, we promise.
4. Get quality sleep. It’s hard to resist the urge to stay up all night watching Netflix, we get it. But getting adequate rest is just as important when working from home as it is when working from anywhere else. You still need to be alert and focused when working remotely, and sleep has a lot to do with that. Studies show that adults who get 7-9 hours of sleep each night tend to function the best. Quality sleep promotes a clear mind and a healthy focus, so get a regular shut-eye and try to catch some rest and greet the sun at the same time each night and morning. This promotes a consistent routine and can actually help you get better sleep.
If you’re having trouble shutting off your mind, try meditating, deep breathing exercises, a warm bath or shower, or some gentle yoga before bed. There are plenty of relaxation apps, and copious amounts of yoga and guided meditations available free on YouTube, so if it’s hard for you to stay or fall asleep, there are plenty of options to help you find the right solution for you. Everyone is different, so what helps someone else sleep may be totally wrong for you. Be patient with yourself as you find your own natural sleep rhythm, but definitely commit to finding it. Rest is especially important in these stressful times, so don’t neglect it!
5. Be gentle with yourself. While it’s important to stick to a schedule and try to be as productive as you can, don’t’ beat yourself up too much if you have trouble getting into the swing of things. These are new circumstances for everyone, and the “new normal” is certainly a learning curve for us all. Do the best you can, make time to self-care, and remember, we’re all in this together.
Do you have any tips for working from home that aren’t on this list? We would love to hear them in the comment section below!
Until next time, stay safe, stay home, and don’t forget to adorn yourself with jewels! Check out our website for stunning handcrafted pearl jewelry that will help you feel glam at home.
By Stephanos staff writer Stephanie Deline