With many companies closing down for self-isolation, a lot of employees are being forced to stay at home for work. This can be a very trying time for many people, especially if they have never really worked from home before. Since there is really no set period as to when things will be up and operating again, many might take to online shopping to find things to make their home office a little more convenient. This isn’t exactly necessary though. In fact, there are many things that you can do to efficiently work from home without spending any money at all. These ten tricks might make it much easier for you to handle working from home without spending anything.
1. Conduct Business As Usual
One of the most important things that you can do while working from home is to stick to your typical schedule. Most people work best under routine, so conducting business as if you’re still going to work will help you get into work mode without forcing you to spend money on things to inspire you to work harder. If it helps, consider using your commute time to listen to a podcast or music so you get the illusion that you’re going to work. This time can also be used for stretches and more if you walk or ride your bike to work. When the workday begins, you should too. This will help you work efficiently and keep up with your coworkers and superiors, so you don’t fall behind. It is crucial to take breaks when you typically would too because your body will expect them. Try not to work over your scheduled hours either, as this might make you feel burned out.
2. Take Breaks
Breaks are going to be crucial during your work at home period. Since you’re not at the office, it is less likely that you will be getting up and moving around as much. Thus, you might consider adding an app to your browser that will remind you to stop and take an eye break every 20 minutes. This app can also remind you to stand up and move your body too. This will help prevent strain while also helping to keep your body pumping. It is also important to take time to eat. If you have a full hour for lunch at work, then take it. This will help you relax while also allowing you to take time for you. Of course, you might find that it is harder to work for long periods of time. If you hit a wall, stop and take a break. This will prevent you from wasting time and getting stressed out.
3. Find a Place to Work
One of the major keys to success is to find a place to work. At the office, you probably have a designated work area that you’ve been able to make comfortable to suit your needs. However, at home, you probably have a lot of choices when it comes to a workspace. If you have an office, then that is probably your best option. However, you might have to take into consideration other people in the home. If you have a partner or roommates that also have to wok from home, then it is important to have your own private space. So, this might take some trial and error to figure out. Your best option is to avoid places like the couch or bed though unless this particular method actually works for you. Of course, you will need to work with your own needs here. Some people thrive with distractions like family and loud noises, while other people need isolation to work. Thus, it is crucial to find your sweet spot before you struggle to get your work finished.
4. Make Others Aware of Your Needs
You’re not the only one that needs to be aware of your needs. In this trying time, you might have to work from home with roommates or your family surrounding you. If you’re going to make your job work at home, then it is crucial to set boundaries straight away. Make sure you keep noise levels down, set up private times where people can’t bother you within reason, and keep your distance if you need to. You might also make it a point to have a no technology period in the home so loud games and the television or even unnecessary cellphone conversations won’t get in the way of your progress. It might take some adjustments but letting your needs to be known and taking consideration of others’ needs can help everyone working from home have a much easier time.
5. Eat Healthy
Working from home makes it very easy to grab the junk food for instant gratification. However, during this period of time, it is increasingly important to eat as healthily as you possibly can. This will help boost your immune system while making you feel happier in your surroundings. Before you get too into the work from the home process, make sure you look up healthy recipes that seem like fun to try. You can also set out fruits and vegetables to snack on. Keeping the healthy food close by offers you easy snacks, but can help improve your concentration levels, too.
6. Create a Reward System
Sometimes, we need a little something extra to give us an incentive to work. This is especially true when you find yourself at home trying to get work done that you’d normally be doing in a more work efficient area. So, in order to get your mind going, you might consider creating a little reward system. For instance, if you can get in a good solid hour of work, then give yourself a quick game of solitaire or a phone game to help take some of the stress away. You can also offer yourself your favorite snack or promise yourself you will treat yourself to something you’ve had your eye on when you finish the job. Another fun idea is to take a break to hang out with the kids for half an hour or so. You can even take a nap if it suits you. In order to make this system work though, you really do have to put in the hard work to earn the reward, as too many treats might cause you to stray from your path.
Moving your body is actually very important when it comes to the success of your work. In fact, many companies have found that if they offer workout spaces for their staff that they do perform much better than they would just sit around at their desks. Thus, you might add some exercise to your daily routine to help with your overall health and your quality of work. One of the best things you can do is take an hour break midway through your day for aerobics, yoga, or any other exercises you can do in your own space. You can also stop and do jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups and more every hour to wake up your body and your mind as you continue on with your work. This will not only help you with work but if you are on lockdown it can prevent health issues that might affect you mentally or physically.
Sanitizing is still going to be an essential part of your routine. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can let this part of your lifestyle change. After all, you never know what you might have touched while you were taking out the garbage or even picking up groceries. You should wash your hands frequently during this period of time and avoid touching your face. However, you should also take care to wipe down your work equipment like your laptop, phone, cameras, and anything else you frequently touch. The flat surfaces in your home like the desk, kitchen and bathroom counters, and tables should be wiped off too. Keeping the home and yourself hygienic can help prevent you from getting the virus while also preventing it from spreading.
9. Embrace Video Chat
If you thrive with working with others, then your job isn’t going to be a total loss. Rather, there are so many video chat programs that you can utilize so you can enjoy your daily meetings or even catch up with coworkers while you’re on the job. This can really help you get the most out of your team even when you’re having to separate during the self-isolation period. If you look at social media, there are many people having a lot of fun with this aspect of the quarantine because it allows people to interact in new ways. Suddenly, you’re not just working together in uncomfortable clothes in dull surroundings, but you get to see everyone in casual attire in their preferred setting and often with their pets or kids close by. You never know, your home meetings might even turn up more ideas than you ever thought possible.
10. Get to Know Your Natural Schedule
Some people thrive when they let their body call the shots, so if your boss is lenient when it comes to working times then this might be a great idea for you. You might start out by trying out different work times during the first few days of your work from the home period. For instance, if you’re most alert during the first few hours after work, then try getting up and getting started. If you need a little time, then slow down your routine and aim to begin after you’ve had time to wake up and enjoy a bit more of your chosen routine. Night owls might also start later in the evening and work through the night. Your schedule is based on your needs if freedom is available to you. This might even help you combat the distractions that your family or roommates bring to the table.
Working from home isn’t as easy or as fun as it sounds. However, if you take a few steps to make life easier then you won’t find yourself needing to make purchases to ensure you can work more efficiently. These ten tips should help get you through the self-isolation period while giving you a few pointers as to how to make work-life a bit more enjoyable overall.