Routines are important when working from home

Picture of Julian Liurette

Julian Liurette

Julian filming in the summer 2019 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada for CAMH’s Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project.

I began writing this to help those who are working from home and who never really have before. This article is not finished yet but hopefully it gives you some ideas.

Since 2002, I’ve worked as a freelancer, business owner but was also fully employed many years. I’ve learned to appreciate working from my own home office and working in an office setting shared with other employees. There are pros and cons to both situations.

The pros of working from your home office:

You won’t be distracted by colleagues having a conversation nearby. Hence, you will be more focused on your tasks and complete them more quickly.

The cons:

You may procrastinate and do lots of things until you actually work. You might be on social media more than you would in a supervised work environment. You might clean your house more than you really need to.

What you need to do when working from home:

Have a routine, wake up everyday at the same time and wake up early. I wake up at 7:30 am and start work at 9 am. On the weekends, wake up when you want and relax. Try not to work to give your brain and body a break.

What I just describe is what most people do when they go into an office to work but the key to working from home is to continue to do this otherwise you will feel unproductive and the lack of structure will make feel lost.

The pros to working in an office setting with other employees:

Human contact. Whether you get along with your colleagues or not, talking to them will make you feel human. When working from home, particularly if you don’t have anyone else at home with you for long periods, can make you feel lonely and isolated from social human interaction.

Getting out of your home. By commuting to work and being in another setting, gives you a sense of movement and change which breaks the monotony of sleeping, cooking, eating, working in the same environment all the time.

The cons to working in an office setting:

Distractions from whatever is happening around you. Stressful colleagues. Inefficient meetings.

When working from home, don’t forget to stand up, walk up around, do 5 minutes of exercises here and there, go outside for breaks, walk around the block, call someone, take a 30-45 minute break for lunch. Stop working at 5 pm.

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