A Fun and Realistic Guide to Starting Your New Work From Home Life
Working from home. Back to the office. Working from home again. Now they decided to try a hybrid week but once you get to work you have to split days with a desk mate. Sigh.
If your routine’s been a rollercoaster, you’re not the only one. COVID-19 has had us all back and forth trying to figure it out as we go. Let’s face it, there was no way any of us could have prepared for all of this.
With the growing increase in work from home positions both temporary and now many indefinite, we’ve all struggled to get acclimated to the new norm.
Personally, pre-COVID, I never had a home office. Just a laptop that I set somewhere -- usually my lap. Typically, only when I needed to do a few things online that I couldn’t easily do on my phone or tablet. I never wanted to come home and sit at a desk after doing it all day at work.
With my abrupt transition to work-from-home, I realized I needed a designated work space. When I searched online for a desk they were backordered weeks and sometimes months out everywhere. Actually, anything related to home office and comfort was out of stock or backordered.
Just like everyone else, I was off to a slow start.
Luckily, during that time of trial-and-error, I learned a few tricks along the way. Not only have these tricks helped me survive working through the pandemic, but they’ve saved me a whole lot of mental anguish along the way.
1. Have a designated workspace
My work from home evolution was drastic. My first few weeks? I literally sat on my bed or couch with my laptop extension cord stretched across the room. I didn’t have a good quiet space because I just wasn’t prepared and that led to me being unproductive. Eventually, I migrated to the dining room table until the desk I ordered finally arrived. Then in true form, a couple of weeks later I talked myself into putting it together. My new “office” area was starting to come together and boy did it help to have somewhere I could go to and work.
Having a designated workspace allows you two clearly defined areas, one for work and one for home. No one should have to work and live in the same space all day every day. The physical separation of space allows you to “clock out”, just like you used to do.
2. Decorate your work space
You spend eight hours a day here. It isn’t unreasonable to spend a little time and money making it a place that you enjoy being in. For me, I added a cute desk, some green plants and my favorite scented candle. I also made sure I was near the windows with some good natural light because if I could give myself the corner office, why shouldn’t I?
3. Check out standing desks and/or under the desk bike exercisers
Standing desks are all the rage right now and it’s easy to understand why. Working from home is great for a lot of reasons but exercise isn’t one of them. I used to be the one that went for walks during a break or lunchtime. It felt good to get up, get some fresh air and move around. At any given time you would catch me walking over to the copier, refilling my water or just taking a lap around the office to get the blood flowing again. I tend to skip that now. There’s just nowhere to go.
The thing is, you can still get some movement (and breaks!) in while working from home. Buying a cheap under desk bike pedal exerciser will have you getting some circulation without even realizing you’re doing it. A standing desk will get you going back and forth between standing and sitting in a way your body will thank you for. Even five minutes an hour feels good on tired, stiff muscles.
Check out the Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser I bought here.
4. Wear different pajamas than the ones you woke up in
All jokes aside, keeping a normal shower and getting ready routine is best. You’ll feel more motivated to work when you’re actually dressed and camera ready for a day full of Zoom meetings. Zooming in your pj’s is not ideal and doesn’t really help your mindset to be productive.
If you can’t do that (which I understand completely - we all do), try changing into new pajamas for the day. Preferably at least a top that is Zoom appropriate. May as well enjoy one of the few work from home perks, right? Comfy loungewear always gets the serotonin flowing.
5. Set up a fun bluetooth speaker in your new home office
I love listening to music while I work, as long as I don’t have any meetings that could have been emails, that is. At work I was always playing quiet music in my office or slipping on a pair of headphones to help get in the zone. The beauty of work from home? I can play some music at whatever volume works for me and the only coworkers I might have interrupting are fluffy and just want to be let outside.
6. Forget everything I just said about a defined work area and take your laptop to a friend’s house for the day (field trip!)
A fully vaccinated friend of course! One day a week I work at a friend's house or they come here. It’s usually Fridays because neither of us tend to have many meetings on Fridays and it helps end the week on a fun note. We still work and are almost as productive as we are on a normal day, but we get that human interaction back. Zoom fatigue is real and sometimes chatting online just doesn’t check all the boxes for us. We’ve both really enjoyed doing this and it helps us almost feel back to normal in a world that is now anything but. Really suggest you give this one a try if you’re able!
If you liked any of these work-from-home ideas but aren’t sure where to start, let us help. Book a Panda for organization help around the house. Even better, let a Panda help set up a cozy and functional home office. Whether it’s picking up some of the items, cleaning the space or putting it all together for you, we’ve got you covered.
We are here to make your life easier. If you’re ready to put your office together yourself but need some help in the kitchen or running errands while you do it, we can help with that too.
Our Pandas are carefully screened and part of our home community. They’re familiar with the area and centrally located to be readily available and at your beck and call. They even follow COVID-19 regulations and will always be wearing their mask so you don’t have to worry.
Use code STRESSLESS for 10% off when you book Panda services now through 8/31.