Working from home has become more and more popular among Americans, especially given the recent COVID-19 pandemic. While working from home may seem like a dream to most, it is often extremely difficult to work from home successfully for a variety of reasons. After a while, you may notice that home no longer feels like home, but rather a workplace. So how do you separate the two and allow yourself to have a productive workday and yet still get the feeling of going home once you’ve clocked out?
The easiest way to separate your work from your home is to have a home office, a space you only use when on the clock so that once you punch out, you can leave the office, shut the door, and enjoy life on the other side.
Not only does leaving the office for work purposes only allow you to still enjoy your home outside the office, but by zoning in on work and not indulging in normal home activities you will find that you crave spending time at home just as much as you would if you were to go into an office each day. Some simple examples of what not to do, making sure that you don’t have the TV on in the background during work hours otherwise relaxing in front of the TV after work won’t seem as enjoyable. When it comes to breaks or lunch, try walking around the block on breaks, or eating lunch outside, even going out to ear on occasion, this will help you feel as if you haven’t been home all day and provide you with a “ahhh” feeling once clocking off and relaxing on the couch.
If you don’t have the space to dedicate to a home office that is separated from the rest of your house, don’t worry, there are still ways to make it work! Make sure you are still following the no TV in the background rule and leaving the house for short breaks or lunch when possible. If your work doesn’t require a lot of equipment, try “closing” your office each night and putting your laptop, paperwork, files, etc. into a cabinet, closet or drawer so that once work is over, you aren’t reminded of your work throughout the rest of the day due to the visuals. Even without working, oftentimes just by seeing the items you use while at work can trigger your brain into feeling stress or even allow you to feel overwhelmed which can in turn cause you to be unable to fully relax and enjoy your home.
If you aren’t able to put all of your work-related items fully out of sight, look into purchasing some sort of cover, this can range from a simple throw blanket to cover a desk, a tri-fold changing screen to separate and hide your workstation, or simply good organizational skills. Out of sight, out of mind.
With many positions now transitioning to remote work, make sure that you are still giving your work your all, by slacking or not being attentive, you could be required to do more work than you would if you were to still go into the office each day. Get rid of any and all distractions that might cause you to lose focus, set a timer for breaks and lunch, treat the day as if it were a regular day at the office.
One of the more controversial discussions when it comes to working at home is surprisingly your attire, and while there is nothing wrong with working in your pajamas from time to time, be sure that you still get up and get yourself ready for work more often than not. By not putting yourself together each morning you are actually decreasing the pleasure and relaxation of a lazy Saturday morning spent on the couch, it may end up feeling like a lazy workday instead of the perfect way to start your weekend.
Remote positions are not for everyone, if you currently work remotely and find yourself feeling down, try following some of these tips to boost morale and allow you to enjoy your job and home to the fullest, or, if you are currently looking at accepting a remote position, be sure to think of all the pros and cons that come with it. In conclusion, working from home can be an incredible experience, just be sure that by doing so you are still able to enjoy the place you call, home.