When lockdowns began due to the COVID-19 pandemic and people were forced to stay inside their homes, working from home seemed like a wild idea to most. However, two years have passed by seemingly within the blink of an eye and we’ve gotten used to it pretty quickly. While some have gotten so comfortable with it that they say they may never leave home for work again, others are eager to go back to the office.
Whichever camp you may fall into, we’re sure this period of working from home has taught you many lessons, both good and bad. Along the way, we’ve learned to adapt and picked up new habits to help increase the quality of our lives and work. Here are 10 positive habits that we’ve learned while working from home.
To Make Ourself Presentable
Although it seems like one of the biggest perks of working from home is that you get to wear your pajamas all day long, we quickly learned that it also puts a slump on our mood and productivity.
Not only is taking a shower before work a good mood booster that’ll help you get into the work mindset, but it is also just good for basic hygiene. Get dressed in something comfortable, but nice. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look presentable. Plus, it will save you from having to scramble to put on something decent when those unexpected zoom calls come in!
To Make the Bed First Thing in the Morning
Not to sound like your mom or anything, but making your bed first thing in the morning is a good way to transition from resting to starting your day. Plus, you are much less likely to jump into bed midday for a nap if it is made up all nice. Better yet, just stay away from the bedroom because your brain associates with sleep and therefore may hinder productivity. When the workday ends, it certainly feels nice to come “home” to a nicely made bed after a busy day.
To Plan Out Our Days
Having no direction can make your days feel endless, but at the same time, you may feel like you got nothing done at all. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start the day off by planning it. Designate hours of the day for work, cooking, exercise, and other chores. This will help you be more productive and feel good about the tasks that you accomplish. Don’t forget to factor in time for rest/fun as it gives you something to look forward to; a bit of motivation if you will. Once you tick off everything on your to-do list, you’d definitely deserve it!
To Set Up a Proper Office Space
There is little you can do about your working space when it comes to a physical office, but at home, it is all up to you! However, it’s better to find a location other than your couch or bed. Having a dedicated office space will help you get into the mindset of work every day, just like walking into the office building does.
You can set it up however you like, but a desk and chair are the utmost basics. Just make sure to choose a spot where it is comfortable and there aren’t many distractions. If you continue to work from home in the future, you can even switch things up for a few hours by taking your work to a coffee shop or library.
To Prioritize Communication & Connection
By far the most difficult part of working from home is the feeling of isolation. It makes sense because humans are wired to crave connection from their fellow humans. Most of us used to get our fair share of this when we worked outside the house.
Since there is much less chance of spontaneous interaction with others in a work-from-home situation, it is up to us to create them. Call up your friends and family and see how they’re doing. Keep in touch with your colleagues as it will help you communicate better about work and develop friendships at the same time. If the situation in your country or locality allows it, set up after-work meetings with them so you get your much-needed human interaction.
To Set Clear Working Hours
Work-life balance is something that seems almost unachievable to most people. However, working from home has helped people bridge the gap because they are able to spend more time with their family throughout the day and get extra off-hours as there is no commuting time.
On the contrary, you may find that this also means that you aren’t able to create a clear divide between working time and home time as your home is your work. The working day may seem endless, and you inevitably end up working through the hours you save from not having to travel to and from work. It’s important that you do not do this! Create a clear distinction between working hours and non-working hours. Set boundaries for yourself and your work so you don’t end up getting drawn into working for long hours.
To Make Sure We Get Some Exercise
With most of us working sedentary jobs, we often find that the most exercise we get is during our commute to work. However, working from home takes even this away as your “commute” lasts just a few seconds, a minute at most. It’s not a good idea to stay cooped up in your home all day long.
If the weather is nice, take a short walk around the block. You’ll get a much-needed dose of fresh air and vitamin D. Taking a short break from staring at your computer screen is actually a good way to clear your head and make space for new ideas. This way, you’ll work smarter once you return to your desk.
To Leave the TV Off
How many of us have the habit of having the TV on in the background while we work? Well, we should probably stop doing that because it takes our focus away from the work, making it more prone to errors. However good a multitasker you may be, it’s an unnecessary distraction and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and lethargic.
Plus, if you’re watching TV in the background, it probably means you’re working from your couch, which, as we learned, is a major no-no. If you absolutely cannot work without any sort of background noise, instead of keeping the TV on, you’d be better off listening to some white noise or relaxing music.
To Stay Out of the Kitchen
One of the biggest pitfalls of working from home is that everything is available at an arm’s reach, literally. A kitchen is a place that draws you in (because it holds all the bounties), so it’s better to avoid it at all costs. You can schedule time for lunch and a coffee break later on in your plan for the day so that you can avoid unnecessary snacking.
To Never Give Up
If there’s only one positive thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is to always keep going – never give up. However dire the circumstances maybe, if we can just ride it out, we’ll make it out on the other side. And you may make it out barely breathing (but alive, thank God) or you may make it out thriving!