It’s no secret working from home can be isolating. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I told you about my own struggles with isolation whilst working from home and the negative impact it sometimes has on my mental health. Like with all introspective writing though, I feel exponentially better after sharing and doing that made me even more aware of the fact that perhaps it is time for me to make more conscious uncomfortable moves in a different direction.
I’m a firm believer that change is a pair of uncomfortable shoes, but whilst some are meant to be tossed out, others can fit perfectly with time as though they were always meant to be yours. The key is recognising the difference!
When I outlined my goals and intentions for 2022, one of the most important things I set out to do is make different moves when it comes to my career. I’m definitely doing that and trying my best to survive the painful waiting period when everything is uncertain and the future unknown.
As I wait, I am still working from home and trying my best not only to get by on a daily basis but to also enjoy it as much as I can.
You see there certainly was a time when I fully loved my bedroom office and my work from home set up and routine. It can be easy and convenient to slide out from bed directly into my office chair. There is also much to love about the kitchen just being steps away. Not being pressured into after-work drinks with colleagues that get on my nerves is great too. The issue though is that with time these can easily become detrimental when working from home.
Today, I thought I’d share some ways I’ve made working from home more enjoyable in the past year that you can also implement easily.
Routine. Routine. Routine.
I am pretty quick with the snooze button whenever the alarm goes off in the morning. I don’t even need one eye open to hit it, but when working from home, I try hard not to.
It would be so easy to roll out of bed straight into my office chair just a few minutes before it’s time to clock in because frankly as long as the job is well done no one needs to know how much of a messy morning you had. My intention though when I wake up is to enjoy a slow morning. I like to follow the same routine every single morning regardless of the fact that my office commute is a five-step distance.
So I wake up at the same time every morning, about an hour before I’m scheduled in. I allow myself to slowly awake, get cleaned up and have breakfast – I always make time for breakfast! Abiding by a routing every day allows me to feel balanced and organised. Once I’m awake following the same steps means my days are never all over the place. It reminds me that although I am working alone, I do so with a greater purpose in mind. Of course, your routine may be very different from mine and should reflect your own personality. Whatever you choose, I would suggest having one to stick to.
Dress To Impress – Yourself.
I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t spent a few workdays in my pyjamas. That would be ridiculous and frankly untrue. What I do, however, is try to look good to feel good. This can mean different things on different days. Occasionally, I do sit in my PJs all day and don’t feel in any way bad about it. Most days, I change into a comfortable oversized hoodie I could live in forever. Otherwise, I may put on a cute outfit that hasn’t seen the light outside my closet in the longest time.
Whatever I choose to put on, I dress to impress myself only and as long as I’m comfortable and feel good and confident on the inside that’s all that matters!
Take Regular Breaks.
Coffee, please! Coffee, now!
Having regular breaks is important to make a hot drink, have lunch and walk around the house a little. The fact that your eyes need time away from the screen is a good reason to take a few minutes. If your job allows it, playing some calming music is a great way to alleviate stress while you work.
Find A Work From Home Buddy.
Any place is more fun when there are friends around. As a kid whenever I was dragged to places I did not want to go, things suddenly turned less hostile when my friends were also dragged there too by their parents. Similarly, a party is only as boring as the people invited to it and a lecture feels less painful to sit through when your best friend is by your side. Perhaps, misery does love company. Or maybe life is just easier to get through when there’s a team on your side.
Working from home can be extremely isolating but you can ease that feeling by getting to know and interact with the other people on your team if you have one. A crappy day can feel a lot less crappy if you have someone to vent your frustrations to. If you don’t have a team to work with, consider joining a group of people who work from home too. You could also consider going to a coworking space once a week if you can afford to. There you may meet others in the same situation who will understand your daily struggles. You might even make a friend or two!
Create A WFH Setup You Love.
One of the first things I couldn’t wait to do when I found out I would be working from home was designate a space for work and work only. Ideally, it is best that this be a separate place from where you do everyday living and breathing, but that is not possible for everyone.
For me, I chose to set up in my bedroom because I live in a house with other people and although there are spare rooms, I believe my room would be the only place I could be sure I wouldn’t be disturbed. Also, in the event my other siblings or guests come over to visit, I didn’t want to have to move up all my devices around. Many people cannot afford the extra space so all that matters is you are able to designate an area where you only work if possible. This will help with turning work mode on and off.
Ensure your work from home setup is always clean and organised. It ought to be adequate for the job and hold all your work essentials in one place. You may put up pictures that make you feel fuzzy on the inside, cover yourself with a warm cosy blanket on cold mornings or use a pillow to help with posture. Just make sure it’s a space you love and are happy to go back to.
Working from home means no vitamin D, commute or face to face conversations with strangers or colleagues in office buildings – all things which are part of the daily work ritual. Because of this, whilst working at home it is essential you create your own daily ritual. Whatever way you choose to go by your day has to be personal to you. Working from home may come with its own set of problems, but it can certainly be enjoyable too. You might just have to make it.
Your restless romantic roamer