Tips For When Home Is Also School, Work, and Everything In Between

For many of us, the Work From Home experiment has become permanent. Whether by choice or by the mandate of an employer, the lines between work and home are blurrier than ever. Add kids and virtual learning to the mix and things get even more…interesting. 

Here are some fresh tips on how to make working from home, well, work. Try one or all of them. 

1. Make sure your expectations are realistic. When you’re used to a regimented routine and a feeling of control over things, something like a global pandemic can really throw you for a loop. Be gentle with others and yourself, even if you’re not as productive or as focused as you normally would be. Remember everyone is doing the best they can. 

2. Go for a walk. Especially as the air turns cool and crisp, getting outside and away from your desk is essential. Whether it’s a brisk walk of a few miles or a stroll around the block, fresh air is like a brain reset button. 

3. Schedule things. Or don’t. Ok, hear us out. For some people, sticking to a set down-to-the-minute schedule is comforting because it provides a feeling of control that life lacks right now. For others, a schedule feels constrictive, which can produce anxiety. Meet with your family members and determine which works best for you. 

4. Take a drive. This tip works especially well if you have kids doing at-home learning and a partner who can pick up the slack while you take a break. A half hour behind the wheel, either enjoying the blissful silence or cranking your music at top volume, might be the breather you need to come back strong. 

5. Take breaks. Set a timer on your phone and set it for 25 minutes. Every time it goes off, get up for a 5-minute break. Move your body. Drink some water. Look out the window. Do anything other than scroll on your phone. Thank us later. 

6. Look for silver linings. While many of us joke about the hassles of working from home with kids, the increased time together has a lot of benefits. These really are memories you’ll have forever. And if you’re working from home on your own, this time can be wonderful for discovering the brighter sides of alone time. 

7. Spruce up the home office. Even if your “office” is a spot at the kitchen table, make it a pleasant place to be. If you can afford it, treat yourself to a nice chair. If your budget is tight, something as simple as a new plant or fresh pens can make a difference. 

8. Pat yourself on the back. Hey, you’ve made it this far! All you have to do is keep going.