Working from home can be great, but it can also lead to stagnation. If you’re not careful, you could end up falling into the same rut of a routine every day, ultimately suffering from lower productivity and a worse overall mood. What can you do to avoid stagnation while working from home?
Upgrade Your Home for Comfort
First, consider upgrading your home office (and the rest of your home) to improve your comfort. If you’re more comfortable, you’ll be able to be more focused, you’ll be less distracted, and you’ll be able to work with more intentionality.
· Main furniture. You can start by upgrading your main furniture. For most people, this includes a chair and a desk. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a chair; higher-end models often come with better materials and scientifically backed designs that are made to ensure good posture.
· Ambiance. Next, you can make upgrades to your home office to improve the overall ambiance or vibe. Better primary and secondary lighting sources, improved speakers for music or podcasts, and even aromatherapy elements like oil diffusers can make a big difference in how you feel about your surroundings. It also gives you more opportunities to change your daily experience; if you want to feel like you’re in a different environment, you can simply change the color or tone of the lighting, put on a different album, and switch out the scent.
· The bathroom. It’s not just about the office; it’s also about making upgrades to rooms you frequent throughout the workday, like the bathroom. Investing in a heated toilet seat, for example, can make you feel comfortable and make your short bathroom visit feel like a real break from the day’s work. Soothing soaps and luxury towels can heighten the experience even further.
Set Firm Boundaries Between Work and Home
Some people get trapped in stagnation because they don’t have firm boundaries between their work life and home life. Everything just kind of blurs together in the same vague fuzz, forcing them to drift aimlessly between work tasks and home relaxation. You can combat this by setting firmer boundaries. Make sure you’re working in a designated space, avoid working during hours that are meant for personal time or relaxation, and focus exclusively on work when it’s time to work.
Many people also benefit from treating working from home the same way they’d treat office work. For example, you can make sure to be online at the same time every day and dress up as if you’re going to the office. True, this may negate some of the benefits of working from home for you, but it can help you maintain the right mindset for proper balance.
Rearrange the Furniture
Do you feel like your office has gotten stale? Just rearrange the furniture. Sometimes, all it takes is this simple move to make you feel like you’ve been transported to a new working environment. Do this once a month, or even more often for best results.
Go Work Somewhere Else
If you don’t feel like rearranging furniture, work somewhere else. At least once per week, consider working at one of the following:
· The office. Does your employer have a physical office where employees can meet and collaborate? If so, take advantage of it.
· A coworking space. Coworking spaces aren’t exactly new, but they’re more popular than ever thanks to remote and hybrid work. Your employer may even be willing to subsidize your membership.
· A café. If you love coffee or tea, a cafe might be the right place for you.
· A park. And if you love being outdoors, consider working at a nearby park (assuming you have a mobile hotspot or local internet access).
Connect With New People
Working from home often means working in isolation. Even if you have occasional video chats and collaborative sessions with your coworkers, you’re probably interacting with the same people in the same ways all the time, which can lead to feelings of stagnation. You can break this cycle by connecting with new people and meeting with them in new ways.
You’ve likely heard it a million times before, but it’s true: exercise is one of the healthiest activities you can pursue. It reduces stress, it keeps you in good shape, it boosts your mood, and it can even boost your productivity. If you feel like you’ve gotten lost in the fog of remote work, consider integrating more exercise into your daily routine. Activities like running and biking are especially beneficial, since they allow you to get fresh air and take in new sights.
Working from home can easily become stale – but it doesn’t have to. With the right strategies, you can stay ahead of stagnation and remain productive and satisfied.