While the timeline to return to the office for other industries and locations remains unclear, many people are slowly realizing that they’ll be working from home a lot longer than they had originally planned. If you are in this position, here are three tips to help you assess and tweak your current routine to create a sustainable plan for working from home going forward.
Learn how to leave the office: While it may have been common for you to leave the office and still engage in a few work-related tasks from home, having to leave a physical office space giving you a clear indication that the most demanding part of your workday was complete. Without the action of leaving the office, you may find yourself harboring the feeling that you are constantly available to your boss and teammates and you may end up working longer than you should.
One way to avoid this is by having a specific trigger that lets you know that it is time to leave the office. If you have a dedicated office space, you can try to limit work to that space only and not bring your work smartphone or laptop outside of that room in the evening. Another option is to put on an article of clothing that clearly marks your time in the office, such as a hat, scarf or vest that you can remove and put on daily to remind yourself that your workday has begun or ended.
Address your unmet needs: Take the time now to consider if you might be more effective working in another room, facing a different direction, or using other office products. Yes, it’s a hassle to reconfigure your space and it may feel strange to pick up a new routine, but don’t simply accept that what you have been doing is the only way. Pause and reconsider the space you are using and invest the time in trying out new arrangements.
Use your vacation days to reset: We get it. At a time where you’re supposed to stay home, using up your vacation days seems crazy. But there are also several reasons why you should take a vacation in the near future. Everyone needs a break from the continuous demands of work. Keep in mind that even if you must stay at home, one of the best things about going on vacation is simply being off work. Turning on your out of office reply and knowing that you are not available to others is a thrill all by itself. It also helps your mind and body reset and builds up stamina when you return to work.