4 things that have helped me when working from home

I started my first full time job 2 months ago, and so far I have been working from home 3 days a week (which will now be 5 days a week due to this lockdown). Working from home has certainly felt strange at times, and I can certainly say that it hasn’t been easy starting a new job working from home. However, it is certainly manageable and I want to use this blog post to talk about things that have helped me whilst working from home. Note that I have only been in this job from 2 months, so I am by no means experienced in the workplace.

I try to schedule and attend informal catch up calls with colleagues

My company have been fantastic in arranging regular coffee break calls which have allowed us to take a break from work during working hours. Furthermore, I have also arranged a few one on one calls myself with people from different offices, which have allowed me to build some genuine friendships. I have found that informal catch up calls have helped massively with staying connected with other members of the team, which is one of the biggest challenges when working remotely.

When everyone is in the office, it is really easy to have a bit of spontaneous banter with other members of the team. However, in a remote setting this is much harder to do, and it is often necessary to be proactive and plan in advance when it comes to planning fun catch up calls with others. One thing that I have found when arranging catch up calls is that people are generally very happy to take time out of their day to have an informal catch up with you, unless they are genuinely swamped with work and deadlines. And if you are a new starter, informal catch up calls are a good way to make friends!

When I log off for the end of the day, I don’t log back on

In my opinion, one of the hardest things about working from home is the lack of separation between work and leisure, as your home is now your office and also the place where you relax. It is so important to try and maintain a level of separation between work and leisure even when working from home, and to do that you sometimes have to set some boundaries. One of the boundaries I set myself is to make sure that when I log off for the end of the day, I don’t log back on. This allows me to properly switch off from work once I finish a working day.

When you are working in the office, you wouldn’t commute back to the office to do some more work once you leave after a working day. However, it is super easy to log back on and do some more work after you log off when working from home. It may involve forcing yourself to not log back on every now and then, but getting in the habit of switching off from work after you log off can really help with your mental health and wellbeing.

I make sure the room I am working in is tidy before I start work

When I go in the office, everything is tidy and neat and that puts me in ease and makes me feel more comfortable. Therefore, I try to make sure that when I am working from home, I tidy the room and desk before I start work. This helps me work with a clear mind, and not be distracted by my surroundings. I appreciate that not everyone has the best conditions when working from home. For example, some people may work in a very small desk, and others may be working in their beds. However, I do believe that decluttering and keeping your surroundings tidy makes a difference when it comes to working productively. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to tidy my surroundings before I start working, but I thank myself afterwards when the day goes well.

I try my best to be kind to myself

I have always been of the view that being kind to yourself is really important, and just as important as being kind to others. There are challenges when working from home, and it can affect people’s mental health and wellbeing at times. I agree that the people who have secure jobs that they enjoy in this pandemic should feel grateful, as not everyone is as lucky. However, I also feel that this expectation to be grateful for your job can mean that it is hard to open up to others when you are struggling. As a result, there are sadly many people that feel trapped behind a screen for 8 hours a day and are suffering in silence. Even I have had those times where I have felt down about the situation, and I really miss the face the face interaction and socials that would have happened in more normal times. But I have tried to be kind to myself as much as possible, as I know that this isn’t an easy situation. When I feel down, I try to acknowledge my feelings for what it is rather than force myself to be grateful at that moment. Furthermore, I also try to be kind to myself by taking regular breaks from my desk as well as taking a full hour for lunch.

Has there been anything that has helped you when working from home?

36 thoughts on “4 things that have helped me when working from home

  1. I completely agree with these – especially setting boundaries! I also make sure I don’t look at my emails after logging off, or over the weekend either. Otherwise it can become overwhelming and you lose free-time, which is so important to maintain a good sense of well-being. Great post 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Alice, I am glad you don’t look at your emails after logging off or over the weekend, as it is so important to have that separation between work and leisure! Logging off and not logging back on also helps with wellbeing as you said 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this post! Good suggestions!

    I like the catch-up call. We’re in a new lockdown where I live, too, and a coworker suggested calling instead of chatting so we could hear each other’s voices. It brings us a bit closer.

    I have a friend who is furloughed and we’ve been having video lunches, which have helped us stay in touch and break up the routine of staying home.

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    1. Thats nice that you have catch up calls with your friend and coworkers! It really does help with making the working day more bearable as it is so easy to go a whole day at work having not spoken to anyone when working from home

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You hit the nail on the head with making sure to stick with regular working hours. I find that my days can go from 5:30am to 8pm if I don’t actually structure things well. The worst thing would be to get burnt out while you’re at home!

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  4. I loved reading these tips! I was working from home at the start of the pandemic but have since lost my job. I feel super nervous about trying to get back into the working life when the reality is I’ll most likely be working from home with any new job I start and I feel a lot of uncertainty about how to navigate that. So reading posts like this one really helps to calm my nerves 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad that this post helped you 🙂 i agree that there is a lot of uncertainty with starting a new job remotely and it is a big change as well as i started my first full time job working remotely. You can get in contact with me via email if you want to talk to someone about the uncertainties you are feeling 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One thing that I have found hard is the lack of exercise and moving around. In the office I would be walking around, to and from the printer or to grab some water. At home I am much more stationary. I tend to take a walk after work so that I can shut off my brain after a long day. It kind of tricks my mind into thinking that I’m walking back home.

    Thanks for sharing these tips! They for sure will help alot of people going through the same thing as you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to take a walk at my lunch, it in a way forces me to get out of the house. I really feel that I need that fresh air to switch off, as it is so easy to just stare at a screen for 8/9 hours straight!

      I am glad you liked the blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post!
    I exclusively liked the point ‘ I make sure the room I am working in is tidy before I start work’… coz i too make sure to declutter things while i start my work . Good luck 😊

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