As fall is upon us, most of us assumed we would be returning to an office full time after Labor Day. The reality has turned out to be something very different. Some companies are still planning to return full-time as summer comes to a close while other companies have pushed back their return date. There are also companies that have decided they will ease into the return to the office with a hybrid model. Other companies have decided that they will stay fully remote and get rid of all their office space. For most of us, this means that we will continue to work from home, at least part time, for the foreseeable future.
By this point you may have discovered some tricks to make yourself more productive as you work from home. We are writing to hopefully provide additional ideas on how to not only survive but thrive when it comes to working from home.

1. Commute To Work: Commuting time was typically used to catch up with family and friends, read, listen to podcasts and just overall get into your work mindset. With most of us now having our commute be a few steps from where we sleep, that precious time we had to get our mind focused is now gone. Also, we’ve found that the time we had carved out to listen to podcasts, read or call friends and family no longer exists. One way to get this time back is to create your work “commute”. This can be just a 15 minute walk around the block or a walk long enough to finish a podcast episode. Getting outside and getting fresh air first thing in the morning can help put you into the working zone. Even just walking to pick up your morning coffee can help set a better tone than just walking from your bedroom to office.

2. Build Breaks Into Your Calendar: Working from home means that you may forget about taking a break. With no coworkers to interrupt you, you may find yourself working without any breaks. Putting reminders on your calendar to stretch, workout or take the dog for a walk, will ensure that you build in that time you need to re-energize yourself.

3. Eat Lunch Outside Your Working Space: Just like it’s important to schedule breaks, it’s also important to ensure you are stepping away from your working space for meals. It’s easy to make lunch and sit back down at your desk but making meal time sacred will help save your sanity. You can eat in another room, outside or meet up with a friend to get yourself some fresh air. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you take your meals away from your desk.

4. End Of Day Routine: Typically in the office the end of your day is signified by closing your computer, packing up and leaving the office. At home, you don’t necessarily have the same routine, you can close your computer but then you are just going into another room. To signify the end of your day you can go for another “commute” walk, workout or leave your computer in another room. Having a routine that ends your day is important so you can disconnect.

5. Work Outside the House: Work from home doesn’t always mean you have to literally be working from your house. You may pick one day a week that you work from a co-working space or a coffee shop. If your day is pretty light on meetings then a coffee shop might be the perfect spot for you to get some work done uninterrupted but also around other people. Have a friend who also works from home? Pick a day to meet up with them and work together. Changing up your environment can help you get out of a rut and socialize with others.

Whether you find yourself working from home full time or part time, ensuring you set boundaries and routines is incredibly important. Ensuring you are able to separate work from home as much as possible will help with your mental health and allow you to be fully present at home and at work. Have other work from home tips? Share them in the comments below.