It’s surreal to think about the fact that I’ve now been predominately working from home for the better part of a YEAR. With so many of us still working from home and likely doing so for the foreseeable future I wanted to share what I hope is a really helpful post on 8 tips to feel happier working from home.
These tips are a combination of things I’ve ‘learned the hard way’ over these past 10 months, things I read, and things that were recommended to me. All 8 are tips that I use now and honestly? I’ve never been happier with my work set-up and my day to day than I am now. Running my own law practice and running LegalLee Blonde from my home ‘cloffice’ were certainly not a part of my plan, but with these tips I’ve really got the hang of it & am enjoying it.
1. Create a Morning Routine:
Look, I am not morning person (like, at all) and I’m not going to sit here and tell you to get up at 5 AM and workout and meditate and clean your house before work (… ummm, though, if you’re one of those people who do that, ummm, maybe tell me how?! K Thanks Bye). What I am going to tell you though is this: If you want to feel happier working from home, you’ve GOT to get yourself into a morning routine.
This can be as simple as setting your alarm for the same time every day and getting out of pajamas into actual work clothes. Having talked to so many colleagues and friends who are young professionals working from home, it became clear that one of the quickest ways to fall into a pandemic funk, feeling unhappy and unproductive is to not structure your mornings. If you find yourself waking up and throwing on sweat pants and then sitting down on your work computer you’re never going to feel like anything is remotely enjoyable about your day. So find what works for you – whether it’s having a cup of coffee with a friend over Zoom for 5 minutes, going for a short walk, or like I said just treating it like a work day by getting dressed and doing your hair / makeup. It will set you up for a better day.
2. Create a Dedicated Work Space:
I realize you may not have a separate room you can convert into an office (but if you can, do that!) If not, try and set up an area of your home that can remain your work space, even if it’s just a desk in corner. While working from bed or your couch may feel fun for a few days, the novelty wears off and having a space set up in a way you like will make you happier in the long run. Add in things that bring you joy – fresh flowers or a coffee maker. This single serving coffee maker is perfect for a small at-home work space! If you’re feeling fancy and wanting to splurge, I also love Nespresso’s smallest machine for a work from home set-up!
3. Make Your Tech Set Up Comfortable:
The #1 product in my home office set up is this adjustable laptop riser. It is a game changer. It’s under $30 and if you’re working from home on a laptop this makes it so much more comfortable and better for your wrists / more ergonomic. If you have audio on a lot while you’re working, consider setting up speakers since the quality will be so much better than just your laptop. Alex and I have these Sonos bluetooth speakers in our home offices and love them.
4. Take Good Parts of “Being Home” & Incorporate Them into Your Work Day:
Are you a music fan? Love constantly having a cup of hot tea on the go? One of the best ways to feel happier working from home is to find a silver lining in it and bring it into your every day. Normally, you can’t sit and listen to your favorite music loudly while at work, but you can when you work from home if you want! Same with tea – at work you probably are farther away from a kitchen (if you have one) but now you can step out and make tea as much as you want. Finding these little joys makes a huge difference.
5. Schedule Breaks:
We all know how easily the work / home line blurs when you’re working from home. When everything is just right there, it’s way too easy to mix the two. To help stop you from doing that, schedule breaks throughout the day where you’ll do the home things you want to get done.
6. Don’t Forget Your Coworkers!
I think it’s safe to say we are all over any sort of awkward, forced, Zoom ‘happy hour’ with colleagues *shudders*. That said, finding your own ways to stay in touch with your colleagues can make you so much happier when working from home. You don’t realize how much you socialize and interact with your coworkers, even in quick 2 minute intervals throughout the course of normal work day.. until you don’t have that any more. So schedule times to get on a call with a coworker to just chat.
7. Step Away From Your Screen:
Even if you work an office job where you’re mostly on your computer all day, you likely don’t realize how many times in the day you’re getting up and giving yourself a break – whether it’s looking over at a coworker who comes in to talk, getting up to grab coffee, or going for a meeting. When working from home, it’s so much more likely you’re staring at a screen for most of your day. For your eyesight and your mental well being when you can do a project off-screen take that opportunity!
8. Have a Clear End of Work Day:
Like I said above, when your work and your home life is all wrapped up in the same spot it can be hard to not let work nag at you and not do work tasks at odd hours. Earlier on in the pandemic I would catch myself doing non-work things during the day and then doing work things at any random hour – a bit after dinner, a bit before bed. It all started to feel like one long, never-ending day and it was brutal. I realized that by creating a definitive end of the work day it helps me feel happier with my work life and more excited about working during the hours that I am.
I hope these 8 tips to feel happier working from home help you! I know they’ve made a difference for me. And with that, I better get my day started! (But first, coffee because #always).