When March 2020 came around, more people started working from home than ever before, and they had to get used to this new situation very quickly. Organizations and people didn’t have time to think about moving teams, operations, and their culture towards an online-only world. People who start working from home for the first time may have to change their habits and routines to make it work for them. This could be because of the coronavirus and/or because they were able to find a job that allowed them to work from home. Due to this influx of new people working from home, we have put together some tips to remain productive and keep your life in balance. Everyone who works from home must figure out when to work, where and how to work, and how to separate their work and personal life. It’s hard to work remotely! You must figure out how to get used to this new lifestyle. Our experience and what we’ve learned from other people can help you lead a better and more productive life when you work from home. Clearly Defined Working Hours You should be clear about when you’re at work and when you aren’t. You’ll be the most productive and the most prepared to go back to work if you stay within your normal working hours. It has been proven that working longer hours is not the best strategy in the long run. Plus, if you collaborate with others a lot in your job, being on the same schedule as your co-workers will make life easier. If you live with other people and need to keep your work life separate from them, this is important to discuss with them. You should talk about setting boundaries, so you don’t get distracted while you’re at work. This will help you stay focused on your work and enables you to stick to your defined working hours. Make a Workspace or Home Office It can be hard to keep your work and personal lives separate when you work from home. In the long run, work productivity can go down and your home life could also suffer. If you’re used to going to work every day, the physical separation between work and home is there. You can try to recreate it as much as possible with a physical workspace at home. Try to make your work area as comfortable as possible with a comfortable, ergonomic office chair you can sit in for eight hours a day. Check SitWorkPlay for lists and reviews of the best ergonomic chairs for inspiration on what to buy. Try to find a place with a lot of good natural light for your workspace if you can, not having natural light in your home can affect you! Creating a workspace can depend on your situation. However, if you live in an apartment, it will be very difficult to have a separate room for your work. Communicate There will likely be some bumps along the way if you suddenly have to work from home. The best way to get through these bumps is to talk with your manager and your colleagues. A plan should be drawn up ahead of time or as soon as you know you’re going to switch. It should lay out how often you should check-in and how you’ll let each other know about any changes or updates with ongoing jobs. Get a High-Speed Internet Connection You might not be able to connect or download things quickly if you have kids and they are constantly on FaceTime, TikTok, and Xbox. Sitting as close as possible to your Wi-Fi device can help. You can also think about switching to an ethernet cable and directly connecting your computer to the internet. Since laptops don’t have Ethernet ports these days, you may need a dongle to connect your device to your router. Keep in Touch With Your Friends People who used to work together all day now have to work from home, which means they don’t have as many casual social interactions that help them feel less alone and break up their work routine. The idle chit-chat and random fire alarms keep your days interesting and stop you from feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel. Talk to your coworkers through texts, Skype, Zoom calls, or any other way your company communicates. If you usually talk to them about a certain subject, reach out to them. These small interactions can go a long way and they will help you a lot. Schedule Breaks If you work for a company, know how many breaks you get and make sure to take them. If you work for yourself, set aside enough time each day to get away from your computer and phone (especially your phone!). For example, people who work full-time in the United States are likely to have a lunch break and two 15-minute breaks. Every hour, you should get up from your desk chair and move around to get your blood flowing. It also helps take one’s eyes off the screen to rest them, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Final Thoughts Working from home can be interesting, exciting, and profitable for your business, but only if you know what to expect. For freelancers, people who work for a company part-time, or people who don’t go to work on certain days, it’s a way to get away from the daily grind. It’s not all fun and games when you’re free. You must plan, be disciplined, focus, and do a lot of hard work for hours at a time (as you normally would!). Most people who work from home say it’s not easier, it’s just a different place to work.