Work From Home Tips

Home office in co-living apartment
With the help of input from our LifeX community, we have pu
t together some work from home tips for those living alone or in a shared apartment. We’ve also created an Ultimate Work From Home Guide as well which covers everything from home office design hacks, to remote work communication tips - check it out too!   

Out Of Office, But Still Working

Since it’s late in 2020 chances are you, or many people you know, have been working from home frequently this year. The coronavirus pandemic being the catalyst for this drastic shift to the home office. Remote work is not a new concept, before the pandemic about 9% of Europeans were working from home frequently. Currently, as a direct result of the pandemic, 40% of Europeans are working from home full time. Though it can be trying, It’s a privilege to work from home, and we have the utmost respect for the essential workers who have been saving lives and keeping the world running. 💪

New Normal For 2020 - And Beyond?

Everyone hopes the pandemic will end quickly, and many experts believe there will be a lasting global shift in how we work in the future. So it suffices to say that we should get used to it being a part of our lives; though hopefully, as a ‘nice-to-have flexible option’ rather than because of government-mandated lockdowns.

Working from home comes with many benefits, flexibility being the most frequently mentioned. However, there are challenges as well such as loneliness, communication, and unplugging from work. The challenges are especially pronounced for those without remote work experience and for those living in places with very strict lockdowns (especially if they live alone). People had to adjust quickly and adapt to less social contact. Whether you’re working from home because of the pandemic, or you’re a seasoned digital nomad, everyone can benefit from improving their work from home skills.

Work from home tips from the LifeX Community

Working From Home Tips For Everyone

  • Make a detailed schedule to follow (and try to actually follow it 😅). Plot out when and what you will work on in your calendar; of course you already do this for meetings, but try to include everything so that you have a good idea of what your day will look like - don’t forget break time! This will help you keep a solid routine and help if you feel overwhelmed with your newfound flexibility. It will also help prevent you from overworking, which is very common when you make the sudden switch to working from home. If needed, you will also have a detailed account of what you have been doing when checking in with your team.

  • Have a designated work space, if possible, keep that space a strict work only zone. Don’t use this area for relaxing, eating, video calling friends, etc. Even if it’s just a desk or a specific part of your home - if you have a small apartment don’t worry you don’t need a dedicated office room to make this work. Having a dedicated work zone will help you unplug when you’re taking a break or when the work day is over. Since you don’t have the physical office and commute separating you from work.

  • Have shower and get dressed. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get super dressed up, but at the minimum just wear something you didn’t sleep in. Simple enough to do and the benefits are huge. These two small changes will help build regular routine and a separation of work time and personal time. And lets be real, skipping showers is just an all around a bad vibe for you (and those around you 😉)

  • Make sure to take breaks! Without the natural interruptions of an office (lunch, catching up with colleagues, coffee breaks) it’s easy to work without stopping. This is great when you need to focus, but doing it for too long will cause you to burnout quickly and can cause stress. It’s important to pause and even better if you can get outside for a quick walk or do some exercise!

  • Optimise your workspace as much as possible. Use your best chair, work near a window, and get some plants. If you don’t have a good chair and desk/table it’s a good investment to make, especially if you plan to work from home in the future, after the pandemic. Things like natural light and plants also help to boost your mood, which is super important in challenging times 🌱

  • Socialise often and however you can! Home office leaving you feeling lonely in general or during the lockdown? Make sure to keep in touch with your colleagues, friends, and family - whether it’s video calls or in person meet ups. You miss a lot of your daily social interactions when doing home office, so it’s easy to become a bit lonely if you don’t make an effort to replace it. If you live alone, you should consider co-living, it’s a great way to stay connected. Check out this article about how co-living has helped others stay connected during the lockdown.

Working From Home Tips For Those In a Shared Home

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Share your plans for the week with your housemates. There is nothing worse than realising in the middle of your company-wide presentation that your housemate has an ‘alternative drumming’ session scheduled. Share your important events of the week so you can make sure to give each other privacy and quietness when needed.

  • Treat each other like colleagues during business hours. If you’re good friends with your housemates (which we hope you are) it’s important to set boundaries during work. This means that hot gossip or gripes can wait until break time or the end of the work day. It can put a strain on your relationship in the long run if you’re interrupting each other's work flow constantly. Try planning lunch breaks together, and sticking to instant messaging during work hours to avoid unwelcome interruptions. Having an open dialogue about work time expectations will help keep it a happy home.

  • Set expectations, the clearer the better. Are you okay with dishes in the sink until the end of the day? What about if a friend comes over to work together? Will it bother you if I take a call from the living room? These are a few of the many discussion points to chat about. It also helps to identify the best workspaces in your house and share them equally (don’t take over the prime spot 🐷). If you have an amazing work spot (and live with multiple people) consider setting up a calendar booking system for the space so it’s easier to manage - it’s easy to do.

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Work From Home Like a Seasoned Digital Nomad

Focusing on connecting, communicating, and strengthening work-life boundaries is an excellent start. Hopefully this will keep the main challenges of remote work (loneliness, communication, and unplugging) at bay. These tips should help you to streamline your home office experience now and in the pandemic-free future.

With all these tips in mind, it’s important to remember what is in your control and what isn’t and most importantly to be kind to yourself. Most of us can’t quickly elevate office stressors, like difficult colleagues or micro-managing leaders, but we can control how we react to them. As a co-living company, one thing we can help with, is loneliness, living with others is a great way to feel more connected, and meet new people. Loneliness is a longstanding issue, especially for millennials, the lockdowns intensified this feeling but opened a very important dialogue. If you’re looking to boost your connectedness, and interested in living with others, you should try co-living!