With the ongoing pandemic, a lot more people are remote working. This is new for many of you, but it isn’t for us.
From the very beginning, we’ve been a remote-working company. And while we might have occasionally worked in coworking spaces or gone over to coworkers’ houses, self-quarantining isn’t that much of a change for us – we’re already working at home.
So, since we’re old hands at this, we thought you’d like to know some of the tricks we use to keep working.
Wake up at your normal time
If you’re used to waking up early for your commute, stick to that schedule. Sleeping in might seem to be one of the perks of working at home, but if it’s only temporary, you’ll end up regretting it when you have to go back to the office.
Plus, it gives you a chance to break up your day into Home Time and Work Time. Take a shower, change into new clothes, enjoy a nice breakfast, get into the office mindset, and you’ll be ready to go.
Set aside your own place to work
If you have a home office, that’s great – it’s a great way to separate out your work life and your home life, and you just need to make sure you’re at your desk at the start of the day. But if you don’t have the space for a home office, make sure you work in a different location than you normally sit when you’re lounging around. A different spot on the couch, the dining room table, whatever. This seat is for Serious Work, the other is for Fun.
Take breaks, and set alarms if you have to
You might get into the zone, being ultra-productive since you’re not getting interrupted by coworkers, but you still need to take breaks and you still need to stop at the end of the day. Set alarms if you have to – I personally really like Workrave, which makes sure you look away from your screen, stand up on a regular basis, and take breaks. And at the end of the day, close down your computer, and set it aside.
Don’t worry about getting sidetracked
It’s going to happen. It happens in the office too, and think about how much time that takes up. Do you fret about time spent at the coffee maker? That conversation you have with a coworker about who would win in a fight – astronauts versus cavemen?
A lot of the time, you’re spending more time worrying about getting sidetracked than you would spend actually being sidetracked. Spend that five minutes looking up the most haunted prison in the USA, go “Oh, that is interesting,” then move back on to your code.
Wear what you like, but wear something different
Working from home also seems to be the perfect opportunity to spend all day in your pyjamas, being ultra-comfy and never wearing trousers again.
But that just means it’s even more difficult to split between Work Time and Fun Time. So while you don’t have to put on the full office wear, putting on fresh clothes in the morning will make it clearer that you’re getting ready for work. I might be wearing leggings instead of jeans, but I’m still getting dressed.
Make sure you eat well
Just because you’re sitting at home and can eat nothing but chocolate biscuits doesn’t mean you should. Make sure you have good healthy food with plenty of variety so you don’t get bored. Make sure there are plenty of vegetables and fruit as well. I like to make ramen because it looks fancy, but it really easy to prepare.
Seriously, just put instant ramen, chicken pieces, a poached egg, and spring onion in a bowl. You spend more time waiting for the noodles to soften than you do preparing the rest.
And watch out for getting food delivered – you might think it’s a great way to enjoy treats, but those delivery costs will start to rack up.
Don’t get distracted by housework
During work hours, you are there to WORK. Getting distracted by how the carpet needs hoovering or those dishes in the sink or tidying up that coffee table will just eat up too much time that you’re supposed to be working.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do any chores – I regularly pop in a load of laundry while preparing breakfast, then hang it up to dry during my lunch break – but if you think that doing one thing is going to start you cleaning the entire house, take a breath, and let it go.
And don’t forget to have fun!
Listen to that cheesy pop on high volume. Sing along. Talk to yourself. Wear a wacky hat. Do push-ups against the wall. Dye your hair. Yeah, you’re working, but you’re also at home, and who’s going to stop you?
I hope these tips help, and that you’ll have a great and productive working-from-home life!