Published On: June 21st, 2022863 words4.3 min read

Before the pandemic, we posted some easy strategies for beginners to start working from home. But now the novelty has worn off and June 21 is National Work From Home Day.

Many workers are still working from home, but you might not be doing it every day. Or you might be, depending on your employer. Yet now that working from home is here to stay, it’s critical that you’re doing it correctly. That will help you remain healthy physically and emotionally – and be productive.


1. Location

Hopefully you carved this out at the beginning of the pandemic, but if you didn’t, set aside a space in your home that is only for you to work. Not the sofa, or the dining room table where everyone eats their meals. Preferably, find a room with a door that you can close. If it’s a closet, that’s fine.

Having a door makes it easier to set boundaries for your family. While the door is closed, no one is to disturb you. If you can’t work in a space with a door, you’ll need some other way to communicate that you’re working and not to be disturbed. Like a sign hung on the back of your chair that says “Do Not Disturb”.

It also helps you get in the right mindset. While you’re in that space, you’re not doing laundry or horsing around with the kids. You’re doing work and dedicating that time to your employer (or yourself if you’re self-employed!)

Set it up as ergonomically as you can, so that you’re staying safe even while you’re at home. Get a standing desk (or make one from a folding table) so you’re not sitting all day. 


2. Schedule

If you can, keep the same schedule that you have at the office. Get up at the same time, do your workout, eat breakfast, etc.

See if you can’t get some movement in outside. Being in nature is great for your health, both physical and mental. Go for a walk or a run. 

If the weather is bad, stream an online workout video. Even if you have an injury, you can find workout videos that work around it – even if it’s something like a broken foot or ankle!

As always, try not to check emails first thing. Most people are more productive early in the morning so don’t waste it on administrative busywork. Not to mention that a negative email can set the tone for your entire day!

If you can’t squash your workday into a few hours, plan on taking your usual lunch break. Leave your work area. Eat with your family, maybe take a quick walk outside, and then get back to work. 


3. Family boundaries

When you’re physically at home it’s sometimes hard to break the rest of the household from trying to talk to you or asking you non-urgent questions.

Hopefully kids are back in school, though you may need to make a plan while they’re on summer break. Summer camp is a possibility, and many communities have something for kids if you don’t want to send them to sleep-away camp. 

Whether you’re dealing with kids or adults, make sure they know when you’re working and not to be disturbed. Expect to remind them fairly frequently! 


4. Clothing

Staying in professional clothes is best. It helps you set the tone for yourself, plus it’s a signal to your household that you’re working, because you’re in your work clothes.

You may be participating in online calls to stay in touch with the team. Wearing your jammies, or your loungewear with the stained shirt, is not going to inspire confidence! 

You might go with business casual instead of a suit. Especially if you have pets, which helps you avoid fur all over your spiffy suit. But remember it’s business casual, not casual casual. Don’t wear anything you’d be ashamed to let your boss see you in.


5. Ritual

Make sure you end your workday as you normally would. You don’t need to be on email 24/7, unless you’re some kind of emergency or first responder. Make your list of to-dos for the next day and straighten up your workspace.

If you deal with sensitive client information, ensure that you maintain the same privacy routines that you did at the office. Don’t leave client information lying around on your desk, and if you’re using a work computer, make sure it’s locked when you’re done.

It’s sometimes hard to separate work from home, so make sure you have some kind of ritual that signifies the workday is over. Remember the 5 o’clock whistle on the Flintstones cartoons? It could be a walk with your spouse and/or kids, cocktail (or mocktail) hour, or anything else that divides the day.


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