There are many more people working from home. While working from home sounds nice, there’s a huge transition that comes with it, and as an employee, your environment does change quite a bit. No matter if working from home is permanent and full-time, a hybrid with hours in the business office as well or temporary, here are 8 rules for working from home to make your transition a little easier and maintain a healthy and happy work and home life balance.
1. Maintain Regular Hours
When you went into the office, you stuck to a regular work schedule. You would go in at your scheduled time and leave when your shift was over. That stays the same even when you’re working from home. It will be easy to fall into work once you wake up or continue working well past your cut off time since you can easily access your work from your couch.
Keep yourself accountable by using a time-tracking app that allows you to see the house you’re working on and helps you keep a regular schedule. You might be surprised with the results.
2. Schedule Breaks – 8 Rules for Working From Home
Usually, when you’re at work, you have scheduled breaks you can take. The same goes for when you’re working from home. Make sure to take the 15-minute break to step away from your computer and refresh for a moment. That also includes taking the necessary time for a lunch where you can spend time eating, walking around, and taking your eyes off the screen for some time.
3. Take Sick Days
Just because you can work from your couch doesn’t mean you should. Take time off that is needed if you’re not feeling well; it’s all part of your compensation package regardless of where you work. You might feel like you can power through the day, but if you take the needed time off, you’ll come back more productive and at your total capacity.
4. Have a Dedicated Office Space – 8 Rules for Working From Home
It might seem tempting to work from the couch, but it’s essential to dedicate a space just for work. This doesn’t mean you need a whole separate office space but a table or desk that you will only use for work. You could even take it one step further and get a different computer or hard drive to separate home and work life. Doing small changes like this will help your brain know when you are working and when you aren’t. In the end, you will get a better work-life balance.
5. Set a Morning Routine
A solid morning routine is what you’ll need when you work from home. It might be tempting to grab a cup of coffee and hit the computer right from the start but try to resist. Instead, allow yourself some time before diving into work. It could be working out, making breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, or watch a cheesy television show.
Try to keep the habits you had prior to working from home, so you don’t get overworked and rundown too fast.
6. Establish Boundaries at Home – 8 Rules for Working From Home
If you have roommates or a significant other living with you, set some ground rules. Let them know what is and isn’t allowed during your work time, and you might need to talk about quiet times, meeting times, or shared equipment and spaces. Having this simple discussion will lead to an easier transition working from home and a happier environment.
7. Leave Your House
Depending on where you’re at, the pandemic might alter some outside plans, but try to get out of the house and move. Working from home can lead to a sedentary lifestyle worse than what happens in an office setting. Your body needs to move and get blood circulation through it, plus fresh air and the sun is excellent for your overall mood.
Try to take short walks if you can; if not, hang out in your backyard or on the patio and soak up some sun. Even if you’re now working in an office, you should still do this.
8. Ask for What You Need
Your home office might not be equipped like your typical office, and if your work supports you staying home, you might need to ask for some equipment. Things you might need include a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, or even a printer, specific software, or a desk.
It might seem daunting to ask your work for some expensive items, but it doesn’t hurt to see what they can do to help support you during a work-home transition. Remember to be reasonable, too, especially if you’re going back into the office.
Working from home can be both a blessing and a difficult task. Be easy on yourself during the transition and be honest with what you can do to make it better and make yourself more productive. Also, don’t be afraid to take advantage of a little free time and bake those brownies you want or do a 20-minute yoga session; we’re only human after all.