Both my husband and I have been “Work From Home” for 9 weeks now amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re not exactly sure when we’ll be going back into our offices, but for now we’ve gotten pretty used to our work from home routine.
While I certainly miss my friends and coworkers, in-person meetings, and going into downtown everyday, there are some things I really do like about working from home. While everyone will have a different experience, I wanted to share what has worked well for me.
1. Bring the outdoors in – plants, natural light, etc.
Adding live plants to your desk will make for a vibrant addition to your work from home space. I also highly recommend placing your work station near a window if you can.
Both of these things will brighten your space and your day!
I love having natural light pouring in throughout the day.
2. Get the equipment you need
Only a couple days into working from home, I was already frustrated by my “office” setup. Little things like not having a mouse pad or not being able to use my headset without first unplugging my keyboard (due to a lack of USB ports on my computer), were quickly becoming a nuisance. I decided to make a few additional purchases to make working from home more seamless.
Having the equipment you need (or would make your life much easier) is definitely worth the investment.
If you’re struggling with your “office” setup, maybe consider investing in some of the items below.
- USB Port Hub – if like me your equipment isn’t wireless & you don’t have enough USB ports
- Extra Screen (Monitor)
- Mouse Pad
- Comfortable chair (& a pillow for your back)
- Desk or small table
3. Take mental breaks
Try having lunch with your roommate (if you have one), spending 5 minutes mediating, or watching something, such as a TedTalk or part of a funny show.
Anything to take a mental break from your work!
4. Enjoy the outdoors
Mitch and I try to go for a short (10 minute) walk sometime around 3pm. By then, we’re both pretty burned out from working at our desks all day. This gives us a nice little boost to finish the day strong!
5. Plan your meals ahead of time
I don’t know about you, but quarantine has not been great for my eating habits. I snack SO much! In talking with my friends, it feels like 50% of people are somehow eating less while working from home, but I am definitely in the other group!
One thing that has really helped me, is planning out my breakfast and lunch ahead of time. This ensures I’m not eating a frozen Uncrustable and Cheezits for lunch everyday… and also helps curb my appetite throughout the day.
6. Block times on your calendar to fit your schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to work really late without even noticing (maybe you don’t have a bus to catch or a dog to get home to). Still attempt to set regular work hours that you try to work within.
Personally, I’m a night owl and with all the stress and anxiety of what’s been going on, I’ve had a hard time getting to sleep. So I’ve blocked my calendar in the morning until 8:30 (a little later then I would normally get into the office) to give myself some extra time to sleep in the morning.
Be sure to give yourself some grace and some well deserved time away from your desk 🙂
7. Find a time that works best for you to get your exercise in
If you don’t normally work from home, this is a great time to change up your workout routine and see what works best for you. I am confident when I tell you that I will probably never be a “morning workout person”. If I’m not working out in the morning now, when I have no commute and am spending way less time getting ready, then I probably never will. And that’s okay!
I’ve found that I actually enjoy working out over lunch. It’s a great way to destress throughout the day. I am not sure how I will fit lunch workouts into my schedule once I do go back into the office, but I’m loving it for the time being!
8. Make a to do list at the end of each day
Wrap up the day by making a to-do list for tomorrow. This will not only help you transition from the work day to evening, but will also allow you to start your next day with clear priorities to start tackling right away.
9. Plan fun activities to do at night
I’ve found having something to look forward to at the end of the day is crucial during this time at home! Some ideas:
- Themed dinners: Think tacos & margs, “Olive Garden Night” (aka pasta & breadsticks), “Breakfast Buffet” for dinner, or fancy wine & cheese charcuterie board night
- Show Night: With Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more, there seem to be an infinite amount of shows you can binge watch anytime you want. But designating a night of the week to watch your favorite show, will make it an event you look forward to all week!
- Game Night (virtual works too): Game nights are great to finally get away from a screen. My favorite games as of late are Sequence, Ticket to Ride, Scattergories, & The Game. Light some candles and pour some wine to make it extra cozy. 🙂
10. Be your own barista
For me, coffee has always been like a nice treat. An indulgence I enjoy every morning.
While I miss the social aspect of getting Starbucks every day (usually with coworkers and friends), I have actually really enjoyed making my own favorite coffee beverages at home.
I mix it up between making iced coffees and delicious almond milk lattes with espresso. I’ve also recently started attempting latte art. It is surprisingly really difficult, but fun to try and learn!
11. Take time for beauty and self-care
At this point in quarantine, all of my coworkers have now seen me over video calls either without makeup, hair barely brushed, or wearing a sweatshirt from high school…
While dressing comfortable and spending less time on my hair and makeup is a nice WFH perk, I’ve noticed that I feel better and more energized on days when I spend a little more time on my appearance.
My goal going forward is to do my hair and makeup (at least a little) every day and wear clothes that are comfortable, but still make me feel confident and happy.
12. Continue to network & set goals
While Zoom and Skype meetings make work from home possible, they aren’t the most ideal for networking. Even though many of us are not sure exactly when we will be back in the office, let’s not wait to grow our network and think about what we want to achieve next!
Be sure to keep up with your regularly scheduled networking sessions and coffees, as well as set new goals. It may be easy to deprioritize these things now (I know I definitely was when this all started), but it will ultimately help make the transition back to the office (whenever that is) much easier.
I hope that you find these tips helpful! If you’re working from home during this time too, what’s working well for you? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Looking for things to do at home after work? Check out my post on 21 Things to Do While You Stay Home.