Working from home #WFH can be a treat. You can wear whatever you want. You can take your lunch break early or not at all. You don’t have to brave traffic, weather and parking. The perks are many. However, remote work poses unique challenges you may not have considered. Here are a few tips for overcoming them.
Clear Some Space For Yourself
The great thing about working from home is that you never have to go to an office. The not-so-great thing about working from home is that you are actually always kind of at the office. So it’s imperative that you establish a boundary between your work life and your home life. The best way to do this is to designate a work space and limit your on-the-clock hours to that zone. This is pretty easy to do if you have a home office, but not everyone is so lucky. Those with more modest arrangements will have to get more creative. Maybe you can have a work chair. Or a spot at the kitchen table. Or a corner of the living room that gets nice light during the day. It doesn’t really matter what your work space looks like, as long as it lets everyone know: I’m working here, so scram.
Move Your Body
It doesn’t matter where you work--if your job is centered around a computer screen, you’re probably not given many organic opportunities to get your body moving. But at least at the office you have to walk down the hall for a meeting or trek to the break room for another cup of coffee. If you’re working from home, however, you can sink into your comfy couch and stay there for eight hours if you so desire. To avoid becoming a couch potato, take frequent “body breaks,” during which you can stretch or walk or exercise. Your body will thank you. Your eyes will, too. They’ve been staring at that screen for a long time too.
Seek Out Small Talk
Limiting exposure to people you might not otherwise want to engage with is one of the great advantages of working from home. No more awkward conversations in the elevator! No more pressure to buy Girl Scout Cookies! Great, right? Well, maybe. But those seemingly meaningless conversations were the ties that bound you to your co-workers. You were, for better or worse, a member of a community. It’s important to maintain these friendly relationships, so make sure to set aside time to chat with your co-workers. It doesn’t matter how you do it--via video, messenger, email--just be sure to do it. You’ll quickly feel disconnected from the human element of work if you don’t.
Get The Right Gear
Your employer should have outfitted you with everything you need to remain productive and happy while working remotely. But if they didn’t, advocate for yourself and inquire about the availability of accessories & peripherals that will make working from home as productive as possible.
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