Most of us have now been working at home for about seven weeks (maybe a little longer or shorter depending on the state or country in which you live). Maybe you are starting to get bored with your home office setup and your routine? Some of you may miss your social life in the office. Work time can still be fun, even during a lockdown. Here are some tips to spice up working from home on and off the clock!
Spice up your workplace
- Change your decor --- Make that blank wall and empty desk fun to look at all day with decorations. Do you own your house? Paint or draw on the walls in your office! Even if you don’t own your office space, you can hang pictures, use a cork bulletin board to show notes and cards from friends, or have a daily calendar with new images (or word of the day or comics). Make the space your own and change it up when you get bored with it. The office should be your “me space.”
- Change your computer --- No, you don’t have to buy a new computer but you can change the themes on your desktop, email, and other commonly-used apps for variety. Tired of the normal pictures that you see? Choose to be in a tropical paradise, or deep in a jungle. You can even individualize with your own scrolling photos.
- Think about all the senses --- So far, we’ve talked about what you can see. But you can change much more about your environment. What about what you hear? Do you have favorite background music that you work well to? Maybe something to make you start the day laughing. I like to start my day watching the late-night shows from the previous night. You can also change the smells in your environment. Do you have a candle that makes you feel zen? Or maybe, with warmer weather coming, you like to work with the windows open and a fresh breeze coming in. And then there is touch. For some people, they like to have a stress ball to squeeze or a blanket on their lap. Feel free to experiment and change when your environment gets boring.
- Make the home office YOUR space --- For people with roommates or children, the office should be a place of quiet where others do not bother you. You may need to have a discussion with your family, or set up some sort of partition to set the space apart, but it should be private and personalized to you. Not just a place to work but a place to be an individual. It should feel warm and inviting. You can influence this feeling by finding the right environment and good lighting.
How to spice up your routine
- Use your “work time” wisely --- When you were working from an office, you would have time before & after work for commuting and travel. During the day, you probably built lunch and other breaks into your schedule, too. One reason that many people burn out working from home is that they forget to take these precious moments to decompress. By using this time, you give your mind a break and your emotions a chance to re-set. This too is part of your workday.
- Activities during break time --- This is where you can get the most creative with changes in your routine for the day! It just needs to fit within the time limit of your breaks. My favorite activity is going on walks and bird watching. Exercise and walking can be a great way to take a break and re-set. One of our team members at Perfect Search Media uses a random number generator on his phone whenever he comes to an intersection to decide which way he should turn on a walk. That way every walk is different. Some other great ideas include painting, drawing, photography, reading, meditation, and even watching tv. You can choose a different thing to do every day or stick with a favorite, as long as you are getting that time and that break from the work.
No one knows how long the work from home lockdown will last. There may also be later waves of the virus that forces us back home again. And some companies may continue to have their employees work from home for the long-term.
It is up to us to find solutions to one of the major downsides of working from home, the boredom and isolation that we sometimes face when separate from the office environment. Have fun trying new things!
For more advice on how to make this quarantined period of our lives easier, check out the last few posts on our blog!