Working from home can be incredibly rewarding but equally challenging, mentally and physically, especially if you're new to it. With a few small changes in both outlook and setting, you can improve your health and productivity dramatically.
Don't Work from home
A big part of working from home is not having to. Exploit that flexibility. Cabin fever is a surefire way to burn yourself out, fast, so change up your environment regularly. Work out of a coffee shop or rent a seat at a co-working space for a day or two a week. Sometimes working from home can feel like solitary confinement, especially if you're deep in the trenches. The best thing about working from home is that you don't have to.
Listen to yourself—you're more aware than you realize
Mental health is to physical health as physical health is to mental. This isn't a diatribe about Cartesian ideologies—just listen to yourself. Are you feeling "hangry" (hungry + angry), incapable of solving something, or stuck? Train yourself to recognize when you're spinning your wheels and take a break. Please, take one because no one likes a hangry coworker. Go outside, rack up those FitBit steps, grab a banana and come back with fresh eyes.
Do something productive first thing in the morning
I've recently found that doing something that I can complete, regardless of the size, first thing in the morning is a huge productivity booster. For example, my roommates aren't the best about their dishes so as part of my "morning commute" to the kitchen, I take care of the them. In turn, my day starts off with a feeling of having knocked something off my internal list. I'm also a huge fan of Dots and will play a few games as soon as I wake up, before I even get out of bed. Nothing like a few wins to start off the day.
Create a separate space for your workspace
Another "work from home killer" is working out of your bedroom or living room. Stop that. If you can, do your best to create a well-lit, preferably sun-lit, space that is separate from your living space. It's incredibly important to be able to "leave the office" by physically leaving the area you work from. In doing so, you'll feel a little more at ease when hanging out in another part of your home as it won't feel so familiar.
Be realistic about your expectations for the day
#realtalk - Working from home can feel like longer days but in reality the time spent home is relative to that spent commuting and working in an office. Just check out how many hours we saved collectively last year by working from home—over 9,000. Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day. Communicate with your project manager, establish realistic delivery timelines and deliver on those promises. By establishing these goals for the day you've setup a mental contract for what to expect out of yourself. At the end of the day you'll feel accomplished rather than overwhelmed.
Have some of your own work-from-home-tips?
We're always on the look out for new ways to improve our day. Whether it's an activity, application, or process, we love living efficiently. Comment here or mention us on twitter, @intridea, and share your remote working tips.