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What may have started out as a vicious cycle of waking up a few minutes before your first morning meeting and staying in your pajamas all day with “The Office” on in the background might quickly have become an unsustainable work-from-home routine.
As remote work becomes more common in the era of social distancing, many are reevaluating what a good work-from-home routine looks like.
But what can we learn from folks who’ve worked from home long before now? From freelancers to small business owners, the people who’ve worked from home well before the COVID-19 era have a lot of wisdom to share when it comes to productivity at home.
So we decided to ask them — the work-from-homers — how they make the most of their home office setups.
The most common advice we received from people who work from home all the time was about creating — and sticking to — a routine. Particularly one that involves breaks, said Lauren Harbury, the founder of Feminist Goods Co., a womxn-positive clothing brand, which she runs from her North Carolina home. The brand donates 10% of its annual proceeds to Planned Parenthood.
“Working from home can turn into sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours a day. This isn’t good for anyone,” Harbury told HuffPost Finds. “I set calendar alerts for breaks at least every 2 to 3 hours. Get up and do some stretching. Pat your dog. Take a walk around your block (and be safe).”
In fact, there’s some science to Harbury’s tip. Experts agree that taking a break every now and then is one of the best things you can do for both your physical and mental health at work. Mostly, taking a short break roughly every 90 minutes or so is a good way to refresh and refocus on the task at hand. That’s good advice whether you’re working from the office or your dining table.
Establishing a pre- and post-work routine is another way Harbury separates work time from home time. That might mean like starting your day with breakfast by the window, and ending it with a screen-free outdoor walk.
In the end, working from home probably isn’t for everyone. But it’s a reality many people are adjusting to for the time being, and there are small ways you can make your work-from-home routine feel more productive.
Here are some of the best tips, tricks and finds that help work-from-homers stay on track throughout the days.
Here’s what they said:
Create a schedule and stick with it
Designate a separate work space and don't use it for anything else