Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and offices across the globe earlier this year, more people than ever have had to adapt to a working from home lifestyle. If you aren’t used to working from home, the adjustment can be a tough one to get used to. Without a set office space, regular working hours, or face-to-face interactions with your coworkers, it can be hard to stay on task sometimes.
As a company that has been working remotely since day one, the Skyfall Blue team knows the pitfalls of working from home. We have figured out the worst habits you need to break RIGHT NOW if you want to work successfully remotely. Here is our advice for what to avoid:
Not setting boundaries
This is a big one. When your work life and your home life become too intertwined, you can find it difficult to figure out where one ends and one begins. Setting boundaries is incredibly important in maintaining a healthy work/life balance. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set yourself regular working hours. For instance, plan to be at your desk (whether this is your dining table, coffee table, or home office) for 9:00 am and then finish your day at 5:00 pm. It can be tempting to sleep in late and work later into the evening. If this works for you, then great! – but keeping regular hours can help provide some well-needed structure to your day.
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to get distracted by the chores and tasks around the house. If the laundry just can’t wait until later, or those dirty dishes are crying out to be washed, then set yourself a timer to complete the task and then head back to work. This also applies to TV or video games. If you want to spend an hour watching your favourite show, make sure you limit yourself to one episode before heading back to work.
Being too flexible
This is why setting boundaries is so important! With no commute taking time out of your day, you may feel like you can spend more time at your desk. As everyone else is also working from home, you may take calls from clients or coworkers well into the evening. Flexibility is good, but there’s such a thing as being too flexible, and this can severely affect your work/life balance and your mental health. Communicate clearly to your team when your working and non-working hours are and try not to respond to
Not taking breaks
Just the same as if you would be working in an office, it’s important to take a scheduled lunch break. Give yourself some time away from your computer. Don’t be tempted to eat in front of your screen and continue working. Stand up, stretch, and take your break in a different part of the house. If exercise helps you focus, take a walk, or do some yoga or a home workout. Giving yourself some ‘me’ time in the middle of the day can help refresh you for the afternoon.
Beating yourself up for having an ‘off’ day
Not every day working from home will be a productive one. You might find that you have days, or even weeks, when your productivity is at its highest. But you will also have some off days and that’s OK! Don’t feel discouraged or down if on some days you don’t achieve everything you wanted to, as it can take time to find the right balance for remote work. Figure out why that day didn’t work out, learn a lesson for next time, and move on.