Working from home or working remotely have become rather popular option as of late. Studies show that it makes workers more efficient, more attentive, more engaged, and more dedicated to their work. It also saves employers money on office space. Most interestingly, it has proven to make workers happier.
Even still, if you’ve found yourself working from home, it can be easy to slip into a rut. Working from home requires higher accountability and responsibility on your part, and those things can be hard to keep up with when you’re sitting on your couch all day with a laptop in front of you.
Don’t let a home office get you down. Instead, follow these four simple steps outlined below to help improve your happiness while working from home. If you set yourself up for success, you may be surprised at just how wonderful the freedom from an office can be.
Get Ready for Each Day
Starting your day off on the right foot is the first step to having a happy and productive day working from home. If you roll out of bed with messy hair and morning breath, you’ll feel gross and unmotivated all day. You haven’t yet convinced your body or your brain that there is important work to be done.
Instead, wake up, brush your teeth, and get dressed. Putting in a little bit of effort here goes a long way.
In addition to keeping your morning “getting ready” routine, you should add in a step at the end where you map out what your day will look like. If you have a schedule, you’ll be more likely to follow it and more likely to get work done than if you play the day by ear.
Be Comfortable in Your Space
Setting yourself up an actual home office can do wonders for your personal satisfaction. Making sure you have a comfortable and non-distracting space will keep your eye on the prize.
Ergonomics are important to consider because you may find yourself in one or two positions for most of the day. Invest in a comfortable and supportive office chair to ease any back pain that may sneak up on you. If you’re more of a bed worker, make sure you have a comfortable mattress that supports your spine while you sit or lay working on your laptop. Working from home gives you the benefit to search for reviews of the Nectar, GhostBed, and Saatva mattresses online through review sites.
Being that you work in the same space you also eat, cook, clean, entertain and relax, it can become difficult to compartmentalize all these different aspects of your life. You have to resist the urges to partake in anything non-work-related during your working hours. Avoid doing any housework, spending too much time in the kitchen, or watching TV.
A home office will also help with this, as your brain will train itself to only focus on work while in said office space. Set your work hours each week or each day and focus on work during that time. If something comes to your mind that is outside the realm of work, make a note to check on it later once your work is completed for the day. Once you leave the home office, anything in your home is fair game.
Being social plays a big part in worker productivity, efficiency, and happiness. Since there’s no office water cooler in your house where you can meet a few co-workers for a joke in between meetings, you’ll have to get creative.
Take short breaks in between projects to call a friend or walk the dog around the neighborhood. Human interaction is healthy and will get the brain going. You must avoid getting too lonely. If weaving social interaction into your workday is too daunting, then make social plans for the evening when your work is completed. This will also give you something to look forward to and help motivate you to check off everything on that to-do list.
Celebrate the lack of a cubicle in your life. You are no longer confined to a small square space, so act like it! Take your work to a coffee shop, to a library, or even to a co-working space for a day. Get creative in finding what “work-from-home” environment works best for you. (Hint: It doesn’t actually have to be your home.)
Always Remember the Perks
Remembering all the perks of working from home can help keep everything in check. There’s no supervisor breathing down your neck. There’s no dress code. There’s no one to forbid you from playing your music loudly to help you focus. You can eat healthier and save money because you have your full kitchen as part of your office. There’s no workplace drama. Maintaining objectivity in your perspective can make even the roughest days working from home better than one spent in a cubicle.