Some people are realizing the drawbacks of working from home nearly two years into the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The idea of working in pajamas may sound nice initially, but learning how to stay positive and reach high levels of productivity can be a challenge.
Working remotely has plenty of benefits compared to a traditional in-office position — no more long commutes, a kitchen only a few steps away, and more time for fitness.
However, two primary disadvantages of working from home are:
- Feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Higher chances of feeling distracted
It can be challenging to rein in all the distractions that crop up while working remotely. Whether it’s attempting to ignore the influx of smartphone notifications you receive daily or hoping your kids will stay quiet on an important Zoom call, the challenges may seem endless.
Because winter is upon us, it can also be difficult to find ways to get outside your home or apartment if the weather is not cooperating. Some employees may experience seasonal depression, making it that much harder to feel productive and motivated to work from home.
We’re all looking forward to making 2022 the best year yet, and if working from home has been a struggle for you, some of the following suggestions may help make your job a bit easier and more enjoyable.
1. Plan and schedule your days
It’s wise to use a calendar, to-do list, or some kind of written plan for your day. Start each workday by setting a list of what you want to accomplish and what your day should look like. This may mean writing down simple tasks, such as eating breakfast or washing the dishes during a break. Try to be as specific as possible with your schedule. You can use online platforms, such as Google Calendar, to help keep track of your daily tasks.
2. Assess your workspace and make upgrades as needed
Depending on how long you’ve worked from home, you may or may not have realized that trying to be productive in bed or on the couch in front of the TV is nearly impossible. Having a dedicated workspace is crucial to your motivation and work-from-home productivity. Take a look at your current workspace, and see where you could freshen it up.
Maybe you need to face a window for that extra sunlight during the winter months, or you need an ergonomic chair to make working more comfortable. You may also want to consider experimenting with different types of lighting, such as LEDs, which have been proven to be beneficial to your productivity.
3. Socialize any chance you get
Take any opportunity to meet up with friends and family to combat those feelings of loneliness and isolation so many remote employees feel. Schedule lunches or dinners throughout the week, and always plan your weekends. This will give you something to look forward to and help motivate you to get through your workweek.
Making new friends as an adult can be hard, especially if you work remotely or you live in a new city. Consider using apps like Bumble BFF, Meetup, or Atleto to help build a group of friends to socialize with.
4. Prioritize self-care
The self-care industry has led us to believe that facemasks and green smoothies are the best ways to look after yourself. However, it’s more about recharging your batteries and bringing your best self to work every day. It’s crucial to help you stay positive during your workweek, motivate you each moment of the day, and help you be more productive.
Investing in yourself can leave you with more energy and feelings of revitalization.
5. Get plenty of sleep
We’ve all had days where we feel tired while working, but have you ever thought about how much sleep you need to feel productive the next day? It’s suggested that adults get around seven or more hours of sleep per night. You may need a bit less or a bit more, but it’s always good to aim for the right amount of shuteye.
Cut your caffeine intake late in the day, and avoid blue light from screens at night. Doing these things can help you stay more positive, awake, and productive during your workday.
Focus on the benefits of working from home
Winter is upon us, and some employees dread this time of year, especially those who work from home. Consider using the suggestions above to make working remotely enjoyable.
About the Author:
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is innovating different industries.