During this pandemic as we all experienced it, working from home has become the new normal. And let me tell you, what sounds like heaven in the beginning, can be very stressful and exhausting later.
The home-office has many positive effects such as, you don’t need to leave the house in the morning, you don’t have to spend a long time stuck in traffic, you don’t need to prepare lunch as you always did before. You can get so much done, while you are working from home.
But you also need to be mindful. Because working from home does not only mean doing your office job but also taking care of your household, pets, kids, and whatnot at the same time. It means you need a lot of superpowers. None of us is an action hero and it is okay to struggle. We do not need to be perfect.
My personal experience, in the beginning, was that I just could not stop working. “Another email at 10 pm coming in, oh let’s just get it done now” … nah, not cool! So, I will give you one golden rule to follow. What you can’t do in the office, don’t do it in your home-office.
Now let me share some tips which helped me overcome the stay-at-home blues.
- Choose a dedicated workspace and set your office up for productivity. Make sure you find a room, a place where you are not distracted easily and where you are able to focus on your work.
- Invest in furniture like a good ergonomic chair. Don’t sit on the sofa the whole day. Take care of your body, you only have one.
- Structure your day, as you do it in the office. Create a to-do list.
- Work when you are most productive. Start early and finish on time. Make sure you are not overworking just because you are bored. Use the time for yourself, read a book, try a new recipe or start a new hobby. Whatever you do, find something which makes you happy.
- Take breaks in between. Eat healthily. Don’t eat between the fridge and your desk. Celebrate your break with colleagues and set up a zoom meeting for lunch. Drink enough water and go for a walk/run to get some fresh air and move your body.
- Dress like a professional. I know sweatpants are comfy, but honestly when you don’t take yourself seriously, why should others? “You are what you wear”, isn’t just a phrase. It is a reality. So, dress up the way you would dress for the office too. It makes you feel confident and confidence is what we need during these times.
7. And for goodness’ sake turn your camera off if you are doing something your colleagues would forever remember you for.
And most importantly, always remember, we are all in this together. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to Karen too, she might be struggling even more than you. Be kind to your neighbour and if you are a family working from home and having a kid you are also supporting in homeschooling, be kind to one another. Your kid might not understand the situation and misses their friends as much as you miss some of your colleagues. This too shall pass.
Let’s meet again next week and in the meantime, take care and love what you do.