Have you had to start working from home recently? If you love the constant buzz of a traditional office environment, remote work can be a bit of a culture shock. But even if you’re thrilled to work from the comfort of your own home, telecommuting is still an adjustment, and in these uncertain times it’s more important than ever to make your workdays a nurturing experience.
If you’re wondering how to accomplish this, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! Here at Valentia, most of us have been telecommuting for ages, and we’re happy to share all our secrets. We’ve put together some of our favorite home office hacks to help you stay on track professionally and personally while you start your work from home journey.
Let Structure Hug You
When flexible hours replace the strict time framework of your old workplace, your days can begin to lose any semblance of a steady rhythm. It’s unnerving how fast time slips away before you even sit down to work—and the same goes for finishing up. You may find yourself looking up from your screen only to realize that the day is long gone and you’re jagged and hungry. That lack of structure is unsettling, even during the best of times.
Create a comforting structural “hug” by setting a specific work schedule for yourself—and stick to that schedule as much as possible. You’ll be amazed at how much more normal this makes your days feel.
While you’re busy scheduling your work responsibilities from home, don’t forget to schedule some TLC for yourself! When your workstation is in your home and always accessible, it’s easy to be “on” from sunup to sundown without the downtime you need to find balance. So, be sure your work plan includes time to close a door, light a candle, and practice some serious self-care each day. Our Self-Care Kit creates a luxurious home-spa retreat that will cleanse, invigorate, and rejuvenate your skin and spirit—leaving you ready to take on whatever the day brings.
Don’t Skip Breaks!
Working from home can be way more intense than being at the office. That’s because office distractions like friendly conversation (and all those trips to the coffee machine) actually give your brain valuable time to recharge.
To keep burnout at bay, show yourself some love with regular breaks. Every 15-20 minutes, look away from your work and gaze out the window—or at least just close your eyes briefly. You’ll also need to walk away from your computer completely for an extended period at least twice a day. Take a walk outside (as long as you can maintain social distance!), call an old friend for a chat, cook up some comfort food, or just curl up for a blissful catnap.
Revamp Your Mornings (or Evenings)
Losing the dreaded morning commute frees up a nice slice of time to spend as you please. Make the most of that gift by creating a mindful routine that invigorates your body, mind, and spirit. You might love a remote yoga, QiGong, or meditation class—or perhaps just a different workout on YouTube each morning.
Not a morning person? No worries. Use that time to sleep a little later. There’s always the space where your evening commute used to be for establishing exciting new routines.
We know, you’ve probably heard that the best part of telecommuting is working in your PJ’s, but trust us that this gets old very fast and makes the days feel incredibly stale. Showering every day—even if no one will see you—and getting dressed in clothing that makes you feel attractive keeps your spirits up and your mind in the game. There’s no need for formal business attire (or perhaps even shoes!), but you’ll feel so much more alert and motivated when you make yourself presentable.
Solitude may be a wonderful medium for spiritual growth and reflection, but we humans were never meant to be alone all the time. Working from home coupled with social distancing measures sets the stage for some very unhealthy and depressing isolation. To restore a sense of community, consider staying connected with your coworkers remotely over Zoom or a similar platform for at least part of the work day—it’s heartwarming to see each other’s smiles at work, and chat in real time.
Designate Your Work Space
One of the biggest traps newbie telecommuters often fall into is “working from wherever.” The trouble with setting up shop in your bed or that big, soft reclining chair is that this brings the high energy of work into your personal spaces, so that they no longer feel peaceful when you’re ready to unwind.
When you choose a single spot for your home office, all that vibrant work energy won’t invade your personal sanctuaries. If you like working at a desk, that’s a great choice, but your “office” doesn’t have to be so formal. A specific corner of a couch to work snuggled with your dog and your laptop might be perfect for you. As long as you keep your work and rest spaces separate, your brain will know when you’re “at work” and when you’re “at home.”
Create Cozy Comfort
Setting up a home office means you’ve got the freedom to create a space that you actually look forward to working in. So let your creativity run wild! Surround yourself with artwork that inspires you, play tunes that speak to your soul, and get some aromatherapy magic going. Lavender or frankincense oil in your diffuser are perfect calming fragrances—or substitute tea tree or lemongrass oil if you need a gentle pick-me-up.
Becoming a telecommuter is a big change, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. Just a few minor tweaks may have you loving remote work so much that you may never want to go back to commuting again!