So, you’ve recently landed a work from home (WFH) position. On the upside, your commute time is now three seconds. On the downside, you’re bored — like, really bored. You thought that scoring a remote entry-level job was going to be great, but now, you’re going crazy from the monotony of your days. Who would have thought that you’d actually come to miss working at a traditional office?
Although the WFH lifestyle has plenty of perks, the novelty of remote work can wear off fast. The good thing is, you’re not fixed in your current routine. If you’re looking for a change, here are a few ways to mix things up and put a fresh spin on your WFH routine.
Change Up Your Environment
A common suggestion for WFH newbies is to create a dedicated workspace that minimizes distractions and allows them to focus. That’s great advice and all, but there’s no reason you can’t switch it up every once in a while.
Change up your work environment by working in a different room in the house. Pick up your laptop and relocate to the patio. If your home is too distracting, consider working at a coffee shop or your local library.
Decorate Your Workspace
If you’re going to be staring at the same four walls for eight or more hours a day, they should at least be aesthetically pleasing, don’t you think? Jazz up your workspace by hanging up some inexpensive artwork (Etsy has a ton of digital prints you can buy and print for cheap, FYI). Give your home office a fresh coat of paint, complete with a trendy color block wall. Hang up some floating shelves and decorate with plants and knickknacks that are related to your profession.
Don’t have much in the way of natural light? Hang up a mirror to make the most of what natural light you do have (added bonus: you’ll look so much better on Zoom calls!). By the time you’re finished decorating, you’ll feel like you’re in a brand new space.
Avoid Eating Where You Work
Admit it: You’ve chowed down a meal at your desk before. We’ve all done it a few times. But while eating at your desk may seem like a big time-saver, it’s not actually doing you any favors. Eating at your desk makes it that much harder to concentrate on whatever task you’re doing, ultimately reducing your productivity.
Besides, getting away from your home office is good for you. It gives you the chance to stretch your legs and take a much-needed break. Consider grabbing lunch with a friend (while following social distancing guidelines, of course). If you’re trying to save money on food, make your own lunch and take it to a nearby park. You’ll be much happier and more productive!
Carve Out Time for Recreational Learning
You should never stop learning outside of work, even if your job is mentally draining — scratch that, especially if your job is mentally draining. Learning outside of work can help you build valuable skills that give you the confidence to browse careers and find a new job that isn’t so mentally taxing.
Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, learning for fun can be incredibly rewarding. Pick an exciting hobby and dedicate time to it by watching YouTube videos or taking an online class.
Experiment with Productivity Techniques
Feeling less productive these days? Try experimenting with different productivity techniques. One technique you can try is the Pomodoro Method, which is a time management method that encourages people to work with the time they have available. Here’s how it works: You work for 25 minutes straight before taking a five-minute break.
If that technique isn’t working for you, try the 50/10 rule. This rule breaks your workday into 50 minutes of focused time, which are then separated by 10-minute breaks. Play around with different productivity hacks and find the solution that works best for you.
Connect with Your Coworkers During Breaks
Let’s face it, connecting with coworkers was much easier to do when you shared the same office building. But you don’t need to let your relationships fall by the wayside! Connect with your coworkers remotely by scheduling short breaks with them. For instance, you could have “coffee chats” where you make yourself a cup of coffee and invite them to join you on a Zoom call.
Looking for a fun way to connect with your colleagues? Get everyone together for a virtual happy hour and play Jackbox Games with your coworkers. On top of switching up your workday, playing games with colleagues can also help maintain company culture and relationships.
Vary Your Workouts
Staying active is key to keeping fit and sane while working from home, but who says that you need to do the same fitness activity every single day? Switch things up a little by trying out different fitness routines on YouTube or taking an online fitness class. Take a different route for your morning run or daily walk with the dog. You can also build several fitness playlists to keep things fun and fresh.
If you’re struggling to sneak fitness into your WFH schedule, start small with “micro workouts.” Do some quick lunges on your way to the kitchen or sneak in a few squats while waiting for your coffee to brew. Challenge yourself to sneak in more reps each day. You’ll be feeling the burn in no time!