Working remotely can be a blessing or a curse. Now that working from home is the new normal. Why not talk about how to rock the hybrid work life even better?
You snooze, you lose
While you can easily take that extra 30 minutes of snooze time in the morning now that your commute time no longer exists, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to get up 10 minutes before 9 a.m. to go straight to work. Start your day by waking up at the same time you would go to the office so that your biological clock does not get confused. Get some tea/water/coffee and take a few minutes to absorb the vitamin D from the morning sun.
Separate work and personal life
If you haven’t already, create an office space or nook. It is a common pitfall to go on for another hour when your workday is over because you will already be home. But keep in mind that your mental health and time to relax are just as important as doing your job well. In fact, the right balance between work and rest keeps you doing your job well. One way to help you separate the two is to create an office space. See if your employer can provide an ergonomic chair. If that is not available, create an area at the (dining) table to set up a more “office”-like space. Whatever you do, don’t work from your bed or couch to prevent your brain from being unable to separate work from relaxation (yes, it really does).
Flexibility is a big plus
Working from home may be even more flexible than the yoga guru next to you. Depending on the corporate culture – you can choose where you want to work (keep the iced lattes coming), you can play around a bit more with your outfits (at least below the waist) and you may even be able to start and end your day later (or earlier). Focus on the way of working that is best for you and go with that! Apps like TrackingTime can help you figure out which hours are most productive for you, so you can schedule difficult tasks during these hours and organize meetings around them.
Set goals for your day
It may sound crazy, but setting goals for your day helps you determine (roughly) what your day might look like and keeps you from overworking unnecessarily. Make a list of things you want to accomplish that day and estimate how much time each task will take you, so that you have a realistic to-do list.
We’ve probably all seen memes passing by on the Internet of people zooming their coworkers, inadvertently showing off their Spongebob boxers to the entire staff. It may depend on where you work, but in general that’s not a great impression to give off. In addition, a little psychology teaches us that you produce high-quality work when you are comfortable in your own skin. Determine which look does that for you (and fits the company culture) and go for it.
Give yourself a break
Without group lunches, it’s easy to skip your lunch and snack breaks. You already know what we’re going to say: don’t! Grab a coffee with a friend nearby, run errands, sit in the sun, read a book: anything that gets you away from your screen and possibly even into the fresh air. Working from home is not easy for everyone, so if you are struggling – allow yourself a few extra breaks and take a few “tennies” (ten-minute breaks) during the day. If it helps: set a timer so you really have to take your break when it goes off.
Take one for the team
Depending on your home situation, working remotely can be isolating. If you are responsible for (or part of) a team: suggest a weekly (online) meeting. Friday afternoon drinks, lunch, breakfast: anything that brings people closer to the team and the company helps eliminate feelings of isolation and reminds them that they are part of something beautiful. In addition, it can help keep your team (and yourself) motivated.
When you have a family or roommates living with you, it can be hard to keep your focus. Share your schedule with your household and schedule some time to check in with them during the day. That way they don’t disturb you unnecessarily and they know when you are available to them.
Everything is about energy
One thing not to forget is compensation. Energy costs are currently high, and if you work from home a lot, you’re the one paying for it, whereas your employer might have paid those costs if you worked in the office. If there is not already an arrangement, ask your employer to make one to offset expenses you may not have in the office.
The right soundtrack
While you’re at it: the right music has been proven to increase your work speed and performance. Sounds good, right? That’s why Streaming Queen has created a great Spotify playlist for you to rock out to: https://spoti.fi/3vBkxjb
Also, create a routine at the end of each workday. A morning routine is well known, but what about an evening routine? Preparing yourself for work is just as important as telling your brain that your work time is over. Do something every day that signals to your body and mind that you are going to relax now. Walking the dog, putting on a podcast, playing with your kids: it could be anything. Do try to make it a screen-free activity so you can really unwind.
And that marks not only the end of the “work day,” but also the end of our last blog post. Sharing = caring, so feel free to send your team and colleagues our tips to upgrade their remote working sitch. Questions? We are open for a chat, let us know!