“Working from home is the dream!”
“I want to work from home so I don’t have to leave the house, and interact with people!”
-Things I say regularly while at work
During all this Covid-19 chaos, my company made the decision to have everyone work from home for the next few weeks. When the announcement was first made, I was thrilled! I got the message at 10pm at night while I was getting ready for bed. I immediately decided I could stay up longer, and wake up late the next day. As far as I was concerned, everything I always ask for was happening!
I quickly changed my mind on everything. In fact it was only about two days in that I decided I had been wrong all along.
So I say the second day, because the first day was almost fun. I had to go to the office to get all my equipment, I met a colleague at a coffee shop to work. It just didn’t feel like a real work day. But the second day I spent entirely at home. Rolled out of bed and right on to my computer. Never left the house, and had no real contact with anyone. I started to feel stir crazy by the end of the day.
See the thing about going to the office is this. I have a morning routine before I get to the office, and I have an after work routine for when I get home. Working from home just kind of melds them all into one long action. There is nothing to break up and differentiate things in my day.
However by the end of the week things started to feel a bit better. I think my comfortability will change day by day, but I made some adjustments by the end of the week that I hadn’t originally thought to do. Here are a few things I learned!
Get Dressed– I thought staying in my pjs and working all day wold be great. Turns out, it get’s old fast. Make sure to get up and get dressed. It sets the tone that your day has begun, and you aren’t just lounging around all day.
Take a Break– It’s easy to lose track of time, and work non stop when your computer is set up in your own house. Most people find time in the day for a lunch or coffee break. Some people “ahem” find the time for breaks a little more regularly. So why shouldn’t you do the same thing while working from home? Make sure to take at least a definitive lunch break away from the computer and work.
Keep your routine– Obviously this won’t be perfect. No matter how much you try, the day is going to be different than usual. But try your best to continue the normal timeline, and activities of the day! So for me this means still going to the gym in the morning, and waking up early to read and have my coffee.
Create a Work Environment- In the past when I would work from home I would simply take my computer to the couch and sit there all day. When you are working from home for weeks, this however is not a good approach. I did of course have the luxury of being able to take my monitors home from work to help me create the ideal work station, but even if you don’t you need to find a way to make a desk for yourself. This allows your brain to differentiate the space, as well as feel more comfortable through the day. You may think sitting on the couch all day is great during a weekend, but try doing it day in and day out for weeks. Your body will be craving change.