Many of us, because of the current climate, are working from home. For me, after I came back from maternity leave, I had been working from home in a remote position. But the difference now is that my husband is also home with me working in the same workspace. Though, we know that this is only a temporary situation, I want to share with you all the tips that I live by for staying sane while working remotely. These tips will help you now and even more for those who have positions where they work from home regardless of the world climate.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Tip #1 – Get Ready Like You’re Heading Out to Work
For those how don’t know, prior to starting my remote position I was a teacher. I got up early, got myself ready, and headed to work and teach my students. When I switched careers, it came right after I got off maternity leave, and I was so used to getting up and simply staying in my pajamas or super relaxed lounge clothes. I had a hard time switching and become more focused when I started my stay at home job, and it wasn’t just because I was now working at home and taking care of my baby.
Eventually, I started getting up and getting ready for work as if I was going to go teach as if every day dress-down-Friday. I felt more focused and prepared and it made me feel as if I was going into my office instead of just going into the workspace that I had created in my dining area.
Because I am not in lounge clothes are pajamas, I don’t feel as if there is a magnetic connection to the couch or that during times where there is a small lull, I don’t feel inclined to do small housekeeping tasks around the house.
Tip #2 – Schedule Breaks
Just like any other job, you deserve a lunch break or any break to think about it. During my first few weeks of working remotely, I was barely taking bathroom breaks and I really didn’t take any lunches. The only time that I would walk away from my computer was to put my son down for his nap. I was glued to my computer, and at the end of my workday, I would find myself hungry and super exhausted.
Eventually, I realized that taking a lunch break and walking away from the computer for a couple of minutes out of the day was actually better for me. It lets me clear my head and allowed me to keep myself healthy, which actually made me a more productive employee.
So make sure to schedule yourself breaks – at least a lunch break. Take at least 30 minutes to make yourself a lunch and eat it away from your computer just as you would do if you were working in an office or in a classroom or any other place where you may work. Even more, try to just walk around the workspace and stand for 2 minutes so that you can stretch your legs. Eventually, after we get our basement done and office space put together, I am hoping to invest in a standing desk or one of those bicycle desks.
Tip #3 – Turn Off Notifications
Having your computer available to you, especially if you are set up in a space that you can walk into easily, may cause you to end up working late or jumping back into work even after your workday is over. This may show a lot of commitment to your work, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it also takes away time from your family. Remember, you are working to be able to support your family and keep them comfortable. You don’t have a family so that you can work.
Turn off your notifications on your computer (I suggest muting the sound or shutting the computer down altogether at the end of your work day) and also turn them off on your phone. Once your workday is over, your workday is over. Any emails or additional tasks can be taken care of the next day. Now, if you’re a person who has an ‘on-call’ part of their job, that’s obviously different, but for others, turn it off so that you aren’t taking away time from your family.
I make sure that all my notification is muted and even if I get the small urge to look at the emails that are sent to me, I have my computer turned off so that I can’t easily log-on and get back to work. This is your time to destress and spend quality time that you can’t get back.
Tip #4 – Have a Work Buddy You Can Call
Having someone that you can chat with every so often that also works remotely in the same company you work for or even if it’s someone else who works remotely in another company, can help you stay sane.
Working remotely means that you don’t get the social interaction that others get working outside of their home. The social interaction that you usually get is either with any children that may be home with you, any pet you may have, or just by the emails or messages that are sent virtually. You don’t get that face to face interaction. And, to be honest, that was something that I missed when I first switched careers. I found myself at home with no one other than my son, who takes naps and enjoys playing with his toys more than talking to me, and it was a big switch from talking to 150+ students every day and a group of other adults.
I am fortunate enough to work in a remote position alongside one of my close friends who I am able to chat with if I’m feeling lonely and collaborate with on projects, so it feels as if we are working together in person.
Having that little chat with someone that understands what you’re’ going through will help you keep your sanity and make you feel like you are not alone.
Tip #5 – Don’t Be Afraid To Turn On Video
We have all heard of those hilarious videos of the Zoom fails. And if you haven’t, it’s been these videos of people doing crazy things thinking people can’t see them or having an IDGAF mentality.
Our video meetings don’t happen a lot but I do enjoy them for the fact that I am able to see people outside of my household every once and awhile. It helps to expand your daily social interaction.
By also leaving the option on for a video call, it’ll also cause you to freshen up more than just brushing your teeth day that day. With the possibility of someone seeing you, you’ll probably feel more inclined to look at presentable especially if the call requires you to meet a client or talking to the execs ( or just anyone else) in your company.
Tip #6 – Enjoy Some Small Fun Things
The perk of working from home is that you can do things that you may not normally do if you worked in a building. For example, I like to play my music out loud while I am working. When I worked in the school building, I wasn’t able to do so and even before that, when I worked in an office, I had to keep headphones in. Now, I’m able to play my music out loud and sing along while I’m working.
Find something small that you will enjoy that you can have in the background while you work. Maybe it’s listening to a talk show or a podcast, listening to music, or working outside on your deck or patio. Enjoy that you’re able to do that because people who don’t work remotely can’t.