Top 5: Tips for Working from Home
October 28, 2020
Introducing Top 5 from Discover! Today we begin our blog expansion to include tips on all manner of subjects written by a slew of great guest writers. Our first Top 5, brought to you by Zilis Human Resources Manager Keegan Call, is all about working from home. Whether you have always worked remotely or find yourself working at home within the last 6 months, Keegan has some tips to make your time more productive and more successful.
Tip #1: Maintain Your Morning Routine
Successful people have morning routines. Starting the workday on time is one thing but making sure that you’re ready to work at that start time is another. Maintaining a routine is a key component of work-life balance that we all need. If you enjoy exercising in the morning, and you used to do that before driving in to work, keep doing it. Get up at your regular time and workout. Do you like to sit on the porch and allow the aroma of your coffee to encourage your day? Whatever you put into your morning routine to help wake you up and motivate you shouldn’t change now that you work from home. Keeping your established routine or creating a new one can be more powerful than the alarm to help you get started for your day.
Once we have established our morning routine, we build a rhythm for ourselves mentally which allows us to be more alert and focused throughout the day. However, a successful morning routine is reliant upon a successful evening routine. If we are going to bed late in the evening, making poor eating decisions, or having inadequate sleep, then that will make a morning routine much more challenging. If you find yourself struggling to be alert during the day, then you need to look at your evening routine along with your morning routine since they are interconnected.
Rolling out of bed in your pajamas five minutes before the workday begins may work for some people but can be a bad strategy for others. Remember, just because you work from home doesn’t give you license to become unprofessional when working alongside your colleagues and supervisors.
Tip #2: Schedule Breaks and Take Them in Their Entirety
Working from home lends itself to hyper focus on our tasks. How many times have you glanced at the clock only to discover that it’s already lunch time? Being productive is definitely a plus but not at the expense of sore necks, legs, and behinds from sitting. Scheduling breaks for yourself throughout the day to get up and stretch, walk around the house, have a big glass of water are all critical for your overall wellness, especially if you work at a desk. Taking breaks also helps pass the time.
Additionally, taking the break is only part of the plan. Making sure to take your whole break is just as important as the break itself. Don’t cut your lunch short just because you’re finished eating. Set a timer on your screen or an alarm on your phone. Be sure to use your down time to the fullest time allotted. If you see that you still have time, take a walk outside for a few minutes. You can meditate, play fetch with your dog, check in on a family member, or run a quick errand. It’s not just good for you physically, but mentally as well. Using every minute of your break time, whether it’s 10, 30, or 60 minutes, creates positivity and ease while you finish the workday.
Tip #3 Keep A Dedicated Office Space
Just like a morning routine sets you up for a productive day, having a dedicated workspace alleviates any uncertainty and distractions that may arise. Setting clear boundaries between the home and office sets you up for better productivity in both your work life and home life. It is neither helpful nor professional to sit in front of the television on your laptop during the workday, especially in this age of Zoom meetings and Teams calls. Creating a dedicated office/workspace marks a zone in your house where work happens. While it’s best to have a workspace in a room with a door to close, sometimes that isn’t an option. However, separating workspace from eating space or sleeping space is necessary to keep you in the right mindset and to further implement the work-life balance. For example, if you sit in your bed working on your laptop, you have now allowed “work” to enter the place where you relax, sleep, and dream. It’s invasive for the “life” part of the balance. You’ve also allowed that relaxed feeling into your work life, undermining your professionalism. And let’s be honest, no one wants to see you in your bed on a Zoom call.
We also know that you have a life, right? There are always pets and kids and spouses running around the house. Having a designated workspace puts up boundaries to help others understand when they can engage with you while you’re working. The key here is to make working from home happen with ease. If you have to put on your “parent hat” for a little while, it’s not going to hurt anything. If the puppy has to go out, that small distraction is nothing. Don’t sweat it!
Also, if you like to think outside of the box, plan on working outside to enjoy the fresh air picnic-style (weather permitting). Scout a place with good WiFi connectivity and work at a park, or coffee shop, just for a change of scenery.
While the focus of creating a dedicated workspace is critical for your work success, it’s also important to create this space in order to protect your personal life. The temptation to work additional hours in the evening because of the ease of access for work may cause a negative impact your personal life. Taking the time to spend with family and friends, exercising, socializing, and relaxing are important for your overall well-being. While you may think working long hours will impact you positively for your work life, it may actually do the opposite. In fact, one of the reasons companies offer paid time off to employees is to give them the necessary breaks throughout the year that we all need.
Tip #4 Socialize with Your Team, Be Visible, Be Heard
Working from home can have unanticipated effects on different people. Some people relish the opportunity to work from home and enjoy the flexibility. Others may feel isolated or cut off from that daily routine they had at the office. In the last 6 months, 63% of workers spent less time socializing with colleagues than previous months.1 While it’s true there is an adjustment period to working at home, you can avoid that lost, cut-off feeling by reaching out to your colleagues via your work communication tools like Teams, Zoom, Email or other communication apps. Check in on your team with a quick “Hello!” or “How was your weekend?” You may find that they need social interaction, too.
Another way to keep connected is to be visible and be heard during all those online meetings. Make sure your video is on and say hello or compliment a colleague you see onscreen. Just because you aren’t at the office anymore is no reason to allow your presence to go unnoticed and your voice to go unheard. Offer up suggestions, ask questions, give kudos, and you’ll find that others will follow. Everyone needs to be heard, seen, and appreciated and staying active with your colleagues through the apps you have at work is a great way to really settle in and enjoy working from home. Check out virtual events in your area and share them with your team!
If you do find that you’re struggling to adjust to the solitude of your home office, reach out to your supervisor or human resources department to see what solutions you can collaborate on.
Tip #5 Be Well, Take Care
Our final tip today is to be well. Stay healthy while you’re working from home. One of the best things about working from home is there is no inter-office sharing of cooties! That being said, you should still make it a point to take care of your health and your body. Did you know the month of May is Employee Health & Fitness Month? You can be a healthy office of one! Check out some of these health tips ( tips within a tip!)
- Try an ergonomic chair
- Use the correct keyboard and mouse pads, if needed
- Stretch and Google some office exercises to at your desk
- Take your vitamins, drink lots of water, and eat well
- Take care of your posture while looking at all those screens
- Try a stand-up desk.
Sitting properly, positioning your screens at the right angle and proper stretching will make working at home a positive, enjoyable experience. Be well, emotionally, physically, and mentally!
Stay tuned next week for an exclusive look at the qualifications you should look for when choosing your dietary supplements.
About Zilis’ Scientific Research & Development Department
Our Scientific Research and Development Department is headed up by Dr. Marielle Weintraub, a hemp industry expert. She holds a master’s and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience and is very active in many dietary supplement and hemp industry trade associations, including her role as the current President of the U.S. Hemp Authority. Dr. Weintraub is committed to the continued development of hemp-specific information and testing to fulfill the Zilis mission.
Science posts for Discover are co-researched and co-written by Kelly McGill, Senior Scientific Technical Writer at Zilis. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in Linguistics / TESL. She has been writing science-related content for over 20 years and is an expert in making difficult concepts easy to understand.
Zilis is the creator of UltraCell®, a CBD oil product derived from hemp. Based in Argyle, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Zilis is privately held. Visit zilis.com for more information.
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