How to Create the Best Work From Home Routine For You!
“Do you wear your pajamas all day?” “Do you mostly watch daytime telly?” Yes, those of us who’ve been working-from-home warriors for years have gotten pretty used to these questions. Suddenly, many more folks are faced with the WFH lifestyle and are realizing that there’s a lot of self-motivation and work-life management going on behind the keyboards. Now, we are being asked, “what is the best work from home routine?” Here’s your chance to shape your day to suit your own rhythms and find your own!
Why is a routine important?
When unleashed from the office, the temptation may be to throw routine to the wind and just work as-and-when. However, like the kid allowed to help themselves to the cookie jar, eventually, we have a full belly of freedom. Having set work hours and a dedicated workstation helps you to keep on top of your workload, and prevents that vaguely lost feeling that many of us experience when our usual rituals vanish.
You’ll also feel more professional if you’re dressed and at your desk (XSplit VCam can help by blurring out the background of your meetings, but it can’t block out a pair of old pajamas). Try using software like our XSplit Presenter to create a professional-looking online presentation without taking up too much time or adding too much stress!
Everyone has a different line in the sand when it comes to work-life balance. You may find juggling cooking the evening meal with answering emails either a liberating use of your time or a complete imposition. Those of us who’ve chosen to work from home generally accept that lines get a little blurry; however, if you’re new to this, you may prefer to set a routine that keeps business and family life strictly separate. This is your call, and don’t be afraid to stick your out-of-office on after a certain time as this can be a big help when looking for the best work from home routine.
Do we have to work 9-5?
This is the good bit: within reason, we can set our own work routines when we’re in our own space. However, this does really depend on your job and your home surroundings. If you’re a teacher running live classes from nine until three every day, then you’ll have very little flex in your working hours. Likewise, if your job involves consultations, interviews, and meetings, you have to work alongside other people’s timetables.
However, with some jobs, provided you meet your deadlines and communicate when required, you have the freedom to work to your own rhythms. If you’re a night owl or a morning lark, you can adjust your hours to accommodate this and find your best work-from-home routine. Keep some overlap with your colleagues if you need a responsive relationship; but if you find you’re more creative at 6 pm than at 11 am, put your working hours back. Juggling work with home educating? Take the pressure off by dividing the day into work and school times. If you’re struggling, speak to your line manager or your school to come up with a routine that suits both roles: don’t wear yourself out trying to accomplish everything at once.
Breaks from routine
Most work schedules build in breaks and lunch hours. It’s all-too-easy to ditch those when you’re working home, grabbing lunch at your desk. One of our top work from home tips has to be: build-in breaks! If you can, go into a different room or even outside, and enjoy the change of scene for a while. Missing your colleagues? Schedule a coffee break Zoom catch-up, or have “lunch together” on a Friday.
Conversely, working near the fridge can lead to a lot of breaks! Having proper time-out sessions for a coffee break can cut down on the grazing. That leads into another WFH pitfall: the sedentary aspect, which can be a double health-whammy when combined with the snacking opportunities. Many people find they’re missing the walk into town at lunchtime or even the commute – our advice is to step away from the screen and go for a walk or run during the working day.
So, while a routine is important, you will hopefully have the chance to plan your day in a way that suits you. Setting up a new home office? Take a look at our blog.