10 Things You Should Take Advantage of While Working from Home
posted on October 12, 2020 | by Elle Persoff
It’s no surprise that most of us are still dealing with a load of new emotions and responsibilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With remote work becoming the new norm for many for the foreseeable future, there’s quite a bit that we could be taking advantage of that we couldn’t normally, if we were in traditional office jobs. Here are a couple of things you should be paying attention to while working from home (if you haven’t already!). Even the shortest amount of spare time can go a long way.
1. Create the lunch break of endless possibilities
Gone are the days of eating at your desk or checking your watch to make sure you’ve only been away for exactly one hour. The possibilities are endless: a quick non-sweaty workout or yoga video, lunch that can be made with more than a microwave, a quick walk around the neighborhood or even working on that passion project you do in your spare time. Even if you only have half an hour for lunch, you’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish.
2. Fine-tune your self-care
Self-care has always been important, but your routine has so much more potential if you’re working remotely. Ask yourself what you need physically, mentally, and spiritually on a typical workday: can you sleep an extra 15 minutes? Can you make a healthier lunch or snack in between meetings? What about meditating multiple times throughout the workday? And if you’re not wearing make-up, can you wear a skin hydration mask for the first couple of hours in the morning?
3. Save money
Although we may be spending more money on groceries and at-home supplies, there’s a lot we’re probably saving money on by working remotely: gas or public transportation, not needing as many work clothes, not buying lunch out. How much money are these lifestyle changes saving you per week and per month? Could those savings be put away for a big purchase you’ve been dreaming of?
4. Bond more with loved ones
To our delight, and perhaps our demise, our families or roommates have now become our coworkers. While you’re working from home you should definitely still be working, but is there a way you can build in time with your family members that doesn’t feel like it takes away from your schedule? Maybe eating a fun new lunch together on Fridays or taking a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood right when everyone is wrapped up with work or school. Pay attention to the small chunks of time throughout the day where you can sneak in some quick but meaningful bonding. For those of us who live alone can we fit in a weekly phone call or FaceTime with a different relative or friend we’ve been meaning to catch up with?
5. Be in nature
With a traditional work schedule, many of us got fresh air for maybe only an hour during the day, but now that we’re home we should be soaking in all that nature has to offer—especially before the cold winter months begin. Can you step outside in the morning with your coffee and get a little sunlight to wake you up? Or take a walk around the neighborhood during your lunch break? If you live in a more urban neighborhood, can you start a mini garden in your living room and make a daily ritual of watering your plants?
6. Be Productive
After getting home from a long day of work, and sometimes a painful commute, home to-dos like laundry and cooking dinner can feel like a burden. But now, you may be able to cross items off your to-do list while you work (like laundry or popping something in the oven that doesn’t require much attention). It’s also pretty amazing how much you can get done in a five-minute break, like folding fresh laundry, tidying up the coffee table or sorting through your mail pile.
7. Maintain a more flexible fitness routine
When work gets busy, fitness is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. For many of us, commutes have disappeared and work attire is more flexible than ever before. No one is going to see your bottom half, so why not wear leggings or sweats during the day so that you’re halfway ready to exercise after work? Can you do a quick workout video in the morning or during some downtime? Can you take a quick jog around the block and still make it back in time for your next meeting? Can you do bicep curls during a conference call that doesn’t require you to be on video? The possibilities are endless!
8. Do the Little things you never had time for
There are life goals and there are little things you wish you could do but never had time for when life was “normal.” Is there a quick activity you can do before or after work, or during a quick or long break? Can you paint your nails in the morning, organize your bookshelf during the afternoon or finally get to reading that one long novel you’ve been meaning to read for years? Could you learn a new language during your lunch breaks?
9. Strike a Healthier Work-life balance
This might not be the case for everyone, but for many of us work-life balance has drastically improved. Because we work where we live it might seem like we always have to be “on” and available, but that’s definitely not the case. Can you build in little habits that protect your time and improve your work-life balance? Can you turn your work phone off promptly at 6 p.m., or at least stop checking emails and leave it nearby? Can you finally have that dream morning routine you’ve always heard about but never thought you’d have the time for?
10. Create an intentional morning routine
You’ve read about the morning routines of celebrities and CEOs with admiration and disbelief. But now that many of us don’t have a morning commute we’ve gained back an extra half hour, hour or more! Do a little research and think about how you might start your day on your own terms. Does it involve meditation and exercise, reading, writing or even an adult coloring book? Think about what you always wish you had more time for – creativity, fitness, meal prep – and aim to fulfill that need first thing in the morning to get your day off to a great start.