How to Survive Working From Home
Now that many of us have been working from home since last March (Or was it May? What month is it now?), it’s pretty clear that remote work is working, at least for those of us who hate talking to people face-to-face around the water cooler.
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, remote work (in some capacity) is here to stay.
Instead of fighting it, put on your “nice’ sweatpants, make yourself an extra cup of coffee (or five), and make sure you’re off mute.
Here’s how to survive working from home:
Take a shower.
Some of you might be thinking, “Gross! This should already be a given!” Obviously, you’ve never had an 8 AM meeting first thing Monday morning after a long holiday weekend (where you consider it a win if you even log on in time). Sure, personal hygiene should always be a thing, but let’s be honest — when you don’t have to go into the office or see a client in-person, your co-workers are lucky if you have the motivation to put on a different shirt and brush your hair, let alone take a full shower.
Put on pants.
OK, so maybe we should be a little more explicit. You should always wear pants when it comes to work-related matters, but in this case, we’re talking about actual pants. You know, the kind that button or zip and don’t have an elastic waistband? I know what you’re thinking: “Who’s gonna know if I’m wearing sweatpants or not?” You will…and your roommate…and your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/Tinder hookup…but most importantly, your cat, and we all know how judgey Kitty Purry can be.
We’ve all let our work lives get the best of us, and that was when we had offices and commutes. Now, many of us have neither, which means it’s even easier to tumble down into the black hole that is working from home. Is the world really going to end if you don’t send that last email? Will your company implode if you don’t finish that last PowerPoint slide? Nope. In fact, there’s a good chance your boss and your boss’s boss are clocking out before you just so they can spend a socially-distanced weekend in Aspen. Believe me, you’ll be fine if you close your laptop at 5:05 PM.
Take a break.
Whether it’s throwing on an episode of Bob’s Burgers during lunch or playing with your pups, there’s no shame in unplugging for a little bit. Let’s be honest — even when you were going into the office, there’s no way you (or anyone else for that matter) were working eight straight hours. Hell, treat yourself to some Insta scrolling while taking your afternoon “break” in the bathroom. You deserve it!
Go for a walk.
To some, this might sound like punishment, but we’re not talking about running a 5K here. Just a light stroll around your block with your furry little friends. You get a chance to stretch your legs and they get to finally drop a big one in your neighbor’s lawn (you know, the one who enjoys reminding you how much more he makes than you). It’s a win-win for everyone!
Use the “Mute” button.
Come on, at this point, this should be a total no-brainer (especially during your working lunches). You wouldn’t want to hear your co-worker slurping up their midday ramen, would you? While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and turn of your video, too. No one needs to see you silently chewing your leftovers while you pretend to pay attention.
Try some tea.
Sure, when we’re having an especially rough day at work, we’re all tempted to empty out our coffee cup, pour in some wine, and add a fake tea bag. But instead of giving in, try the real thing. There’s nothing more soothing than a nice chamomile, a slice of lemon, and some honey. The best part? Once 4 or 5 PM rolls around, add a little whiskey and make yourself a Hot Toddy. Those Brits might be onto something (you know, other than formulaically pumping out some of the best TV in the world).