If you’ve been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely been at it for over a year at this point—but it’s not too late to step back and reevaluate your approach. Consider these five tips to help make working from home easier, healthier, and more productive.
1. Have a designated workspace.
If you haven’t yet, create a designated work space. Things to consider when choosing a spot: potential distractions, strong internet connection, comfortable seating, and good lighting for Zoom meetings. Additionally, you may want to consider finding a space that you’ll enjoy—maybe near a window or your collection of indoor plants.
2. Create new routines to start your day.
Don’t just roll out of bed and hop on your computer. Sit down for breakfast with your family. Go for a quick walk. Read a morning devotional. Do something to help your mind and body get ready for the day—and whatever you choose, be consistent!
3. Take intentional breaks and move your body.
When working from home, it can be tempting to work through the lunch hour, but taking a little time away from your computer can improve your productivity for the rest of the day. Designate a short break in the morning and afternoon, too, and be sure to stand up and move around.
4. Choose an end time.
The line of separation between work and home life can become blurry when working from home. Not every minute of working at home is as productive as it used to be in the office, and to compensate, we sometimes let work slip into our evenings. Choose an end time that works for you, but be intentional and turn off your computer when your work day is over.
5. Close your day with a ritual.
Designate a daily activity to help you leave work mode. Perhaps you’ll go on a walk, take a shower, close all those open tabs, or clean up your work space. Your commute may have given you valuable “me time” in the car, which helped you mentally transition from work mode to home mode. Decide what replicating that could look like.
Ann Vu Ngo, associate dean of Career Development and Calling at Bethel, contributed to this blog post, which originally appeared as part of a feature on self-care in the Winter 2021 issue of Bethel Magazine. Bethel’s Office of Career Development and Calling supports Bethel students and alumni, equipping them with resources like interview prep, networking opportunities, resume review, career assessments, and more.