The outbreak of COVID-19 has made working from home universal. Companies are learning that physical office space isn’t always needed to make an organization run. With the advancements of technology, you can work from just about anywhere in the world.
Great places to work usually encompass flexible working schedules, camaraderie, and a workplace culture that values employees’ work-life balance. One such example is Venterra Realty, which was recently named one of the 2020 Best Small & Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work and Fortune.
“Our Employer survey results show that 95% of our team members believe that Venterra is a great place to work. This is the product of having employees who are passionate, caring, and dedicated to creating amazing experiences for those around them,” Venterra CEO John Foresi says.
And while working remotely has plenty of benefits—comfy clothes and no long commute—it can also come with a lot of distractions that make being productive difficult.
Separating your work and personal life can be tricky when you work from home—especially if you’re sharing your space with children, pets, or roommates. It’s all about establishing a few rules and creating healthy boundaries so that you can get your work done and still be able to relax at home. Listed below are just a few simple changes that can help make the transition from office to home that much easier.
A Morning Routine
Instead of jumping out of bed and heading to your computer first thing in the morning, establish a regular morning routine that doesn’t involve work. Make a pot of coffee or brew some green tea with caffeine, eat a nutritious breakfast, do a vigorous workout, or simply take a hot shower and get dressed. You might assume working from home means you get to sleep in until work starts, but doing so may make you even more groggy and tired at the beginning of work. You want to establish a clear barrier between your morning and the beginning of your workday—just as you would in a normal office setting. When you finally sit down at your desk, adjust to the workday by taking a few deep breaths to help ground yourself.
Set Office Hours
Working remotely often means having a flexible work schedule. You can sign in and out of work whenever you like. However, this kind of freedom could become more of a disadvantage than a benefit. You may end up working well into the night or become more prone to distractions if you don’t establish clear working hours. Instead set a time to work that fits in with your colleagues and daily work activities and stick to it. This will likely be traditional workday hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Talk to your co-workers about when you’re available and when you’re not, so you don’t end up getting texts or calls when you are “off-the-clock.” Simply setting your chat status to “away” or “unavailable” can help signal that you are no longer working.
A Designated Workspace
Even if you have a small space, make sure you designate some part of your home strictly for work. This could be an entire room you set up as a home office or just a desk and chair in the corner of your living room. You can keep your laptop, planner, and perhaps a few plants on the desk, but try to keep this spot organized and free of clutter. It might be a good idea to get a monitor and keyboard as well if you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. It’s wise to not have your home office be near or in the kitchen. Being close to a fridge full of food may tempt you to snack more frequently and be open to distractions.
Keep your workspace separate from your living space with some kind of effective barrier. This could be a large screen or piece of room furniture that separates your desk from the rest of the unit, such as a mid-century modern sectional sofa. Find something with a modern design that fits in with the unique style of your home decor. Setting up different sections of your house helps to establish clear working and relaxing zones. You may find it easier to focus and get your work done when your home office space is separated from your living area.
When working from home, it’s easy to mix work and home life. Cooking dinner while checking work emails? Breastfeeding while finishing up an assignment at your desk? But try to resist the urge to multitask. Instead, you should be present in each of the activities you do—whether it’s helping your kids with their homework or having a conference call with your bosses. You may be able to complete a task better when you are solely focused on that one task instead of trying to juggle everything at once.
Talk to your roommates or family members about your working hours and schedule so they understand when you’re working (even if you’re home). You may want to keep your door closed or put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. You can try noise-canceling headphones as well to block out any disturbances. You can also create signals about when it’s okay to interrupt you, such as the other person sending you a text to see if you can take a break.
A Nighttime Routine
Working from home can often lead to blending the personal with the professional aspects of your life. You may begin experiencing insomnia or have bouts of restlessness. When working remotely, it’s incredibly important to separate out the different areas of your life—like sleep and work. While it may be tempting to drag your laptop into bed with you, resist that urge. Doing this may lead to you subconsciously associating sleep and bedtime with your work activities, and thereby messing with your quality of sleep. Instead, make your bedroom a space for relaxation and rest, and your desk the place you do work. Keep your resting space cozy with cushions, candles, and warm blankets while making sure your workspace doesn’t have any sleep-inducing elements.
To help calm your nervous system, try an all-natural Ayurvedic oil for sleep. This CBD-infused Ayurvedic oil may improve your sleep quality and help achieve a good night’s sleep. This product contains ingredients designed to promote a restful sleep like chamomile, lavender, and Valerian root. Alternative medicine has grown in popularity in the last decade for its purported benefits. Herbal supplements and natural remedies may help with some ailments like insomnia often without the harsh side effects that come with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. You can also try other Ayurvedic practices such as drinking warm milk with turmeric, taking a warm bath with essential oils before bed, practicing a few restorative yoga poses, or massaging warm sesame oil over your body.
Sign off from work at the same time every day and practice a calming nighttime ritual that helps you wind down from the workday. This could be drinking tea, journaling your thoughts, reading a chapter of a book, or meditating. Doing so will help cultivate better sleep and distance yourself from your work.