It has been estimated that around 42% of America’s workforce is currently working from home. In a bid to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, most employers have allowed their employees to work from home in a safe environment. However, with more than 178,000 coronavirus related deaths in the USA, and with more than 5.79 million cases, it looks as though working from home might become the new normal for some time.
If you have found yourself working from home the last few months, you may have been finding it difficult to adjust to this new way of working. Although working from home does indeed have a lot of benefits- such as no commute- it does also come with its fair amount of disadvantages. Below are some tips to help you adjust to working from home and help you thrive in this new workspace:
Tips to Stay Productive and Successful While Working From Home
- Set and stick to a routine: without the steady schedule of working in an office, it can often be tempting to stray from your regular schedule, especially as the lines between personal and professional become blurred. However, in order to stay productive while working from home, it is imperative that you try to stick to your regular work schedule. If you work 9-5, make sure that is the schedule you work at home. You should also try to stick to your regular sleep schedule if you can.
- Create a dedicated workspace: another way to make sure you stay productive is to make sure you have a dedicated workspace to work from. This space could be an office, or any spare room. Most importantly, it needs to be out of the way of any distractions: such as children, pets and electronics.
- Turn off unnecessary electronics: with no bosses looking over your shoulder, it can be tempting to keep our social media active while we are working, and take a few minutes every so often to browse them. However, these distractions can be incredibly bad for productivity. Try to be strict with yourself, and only use your phone for non-work related things during your breaks.
Mental Health Tips While Working from Home
Working from home during these difficult and confusing times can be incredibly stressful. It can also be difficult to split the personal from the private, and many people who work from home find it difficult to switch off, often working longer hours than usual. Here are some mental health tips to take note of and implement while you work from home:
- Take regular breaks: working at home can sometimes make us feel like we have to be available all the time as we can’t physically speak to people now. However, it is important that now, more than ever, you are taking regular breaks, as this will help your mind rest so you will be more productive later. This will also be hugely beneficial for your mental health, as it will force your mind to take a step back from any stress you might be feeling.
- Sleep: Make sure that you are getting a healthy amount of sleep each night. Sleep is vital for your mental and overall health so if you are having sleep issues it is imperative that you work on ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Spend time outdoors: if you can, set up an outdoor office for nicer days. Getting regular exposure to the sun can help improve physical and mental health, and will give you a break from your office. It will also help lower your electricity bill, which will no doubt have risen since you started working from home. If you are looking for another way to lower your energy bills, check out comparison websites like Vectren to see if you could be saving money.
Make sure you stop working in the evenings: it can be incredibly tempting to work later in the night when you can access everything at home. However, this will only add to your stress levels, and not being able to switch off can negatively impact your mental health. So, make sure that you stick to regular working hours, and don’t work any later than you usually would.