Making Sure “Working from Home” Doesn’t Become “Living at Work”

By Damian Scandiffio, Client Services Director

Fall is officially upon us, and by now, your employer has most likely made its decision on work-from-home policies for the remainder of 2020. If su casa is anything like mi casa, the lines of separation between your work life and home life are beyond blurred. To provide valuable advice to my fellow remote workers out there, here are seven great tips to help keep your at-home work life separate from your at-home personal life:

  1. Stick to a set schedule – Over the past 6+ months, I’ve talked with countless numbers of work-from-home employees who have found it difficult to step away from their laptops at the end of their workday. To make matters worse, many of us have our work emails or professional chat messengers downloaded to our smartphones, and it can be hard to unplug for the night without feeling the urge to quickly respond to a message. To counteract this problem, set a predetermined “wrap-up” to give yourself some much-needed personal time at the day’s end.
  2. Maintain a dedicated office space – Transitioning from a traditional office to an at-home space has been a challenge for some employees. Depending on your living arrangements, finding the perfect location for an office in your home may prove to be a challenge. Ultimately, if you can find a comfy office chair and a suitable desk, you’re well on your way to creating a comfortable at-home environment. Remember: your work-from-home layout is fully customizable. Tailor it to your liking!
  3. Designate your workspace as “off-limits” – Whether your home is occupied by squirrely children or noisy animals (or both), setting spatial ground rules is imperative for the sake of workplace productivity. Make sure that people and pets alike understand the boundaries that accompany your work-from-home office. Rather than dealing with frequent visitors that interrupt your focus during virtual meetings and over-the-phone conference calls, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your full attention can be devoted to professional matters.
  4. Give yourself some breaks – You’re doing neither your body nor your mind any favors by continuously sitting at your work desk for hours on end. Instead of remaining stationary for the entire day, it’s important to step away from your laptop and spend some time in a different area of your home. Don’t short-change yourself at lunchtime, as quick breaks are pivotal for allowing your mind to recharge, thereby enhancing workplace productivity.
  5. Move, move, move! – It may not be immediately apparent, but your body is desperately craving physical activity throughout the workday. Exposure to fresh air and natural light can provide tremendous benefits to boost your mental sharpness. Taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood is all it takes to reenergize and refocus your mind.
  6. Ask for accommodations – Many companies have carved out additional space in their annual budgets to support their employees’ requests for work-from-home office equipment. Whether you need an updated laptop, a second monitor, or a new keyboard, don’t be afraid to request accommodations that will make your workday more comfortable – and thereby more productive.
  7. Find time for socialization – Even though maintaining workplace relationships has been difficult due to the lack of in-person physical interaction, companies need to help their employees in prioritizing frequent socialization. Rather than succumbing to feelings of isolation and desolation, make the effort to be actively involved in these virtual interactions. Not only will these social opportunities help you to feel more connected within your company, but they’ll help you in fostering stronger relationships with your workplace peers.

Although work-from-home struggles have presented dozens of unique challenging during the pandemic, these difficulties can be overcome. If you’re looking for ways to promote personal wellness during COVID-19, check out our latest blog on self-care during times of distress.

Interested in engaging with Damian? Connect with him on LinkedIn.

To learn more about how you can maximize your workplace productivity, even in a remote work environment, head over to our Acara blog.

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