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Working from Home Tips from HIStalk Readers – Daily Routine

March 12, 2020 News No Comments

I try to sign in early and usually don’t end up taking a formal lunch. Working from home gives you the flexibility to do a little bit of everything, so be flexible. I get up and walk around, take the dogs for a walk, get some fresh air, and then crank out a project. It is very easy to start going stir crazy, especially if you’ve been on the couch for eight hours. I wake up, take a shower, grab a snack, and start working. When I need to, I take a break, run to the store, whatever. I get all work emails / notices to my cell as well, so it gives me some freedom. As long as I can get to a computer if needed, I can take care of any tasks that are needed.

Get up about the same time as usual. Follow usual morning routine. Start work at usual time. Take my usual lunch break. Work through the afternoon but take a walk in mid-afternoon. Stop working at usual time. Do not watch TV except the 30 minute noon news during lunch.

Work like crazy from dawn until mid morning, take some time to exercise on the elliptical or treadmill or outdoors, gather some nourishment, then do some household chores. Finish the day off with a flurry from 4-9.

Always, I mean ALWAYS put on shoes and a collared shirt. Make sure you’re in the mindset to work. Sweatpants doesn’t do this.

Wake up as if you are going into the office. Take a shower, dress in halfway decent clothes ,and be “in the office” early. Take a break for lunch, as usual, and work until the time you would arrive home if you are commuting. Think of the added productivity if you reduce your “commute” from, say, 30 minutes to 30 seconds!

830-5 every day.

I start work a bit earlier when working at home due to no commute, but otherwise follow the same general patterns I do at work.

I try to follow the same daily routine as if I am working in the office.

I’ve been doing this for seven years now. I get up and take a glance at IM and email just to make sure nothing urgent popped up overnight. I get dressed and actually prepare as it I might have to leave the house. I’m not in work clothes but I do style my hair. It just mentally changes my game.

Start and end at the same time. Make it clear to family and friends you are working and not to be interrupted

Wake up early, leave the house for a workout. Then get a cup of hot tea and triage messages, get a fruit-veggie smoothie and some breakfast and start highest acuity calls for the day. Take a mid-to-late afternoon break to take a walk and get away from the desk to help with transition away from work. After an evening with the family, occasionally get back online to finish anything up for the day.

Same as work. Keep the same times. Take a few more breaks since you work for a longer period of time.

Before working remotely, I’d average around 3,000-5,000 steps from being at work. After going remote, that went down to 500. I’ve had to force myself to get up such as taking some conference calls while pacing. I’ve also taken the time I used to commute and force myself to get up at the same time and exercise.

Make sure you get up and get ready for work, put on clothes, do your hair, etc.

Most important tip: don’t get sucked into doing the dishes, making shortbread, making pickles, etc.! Unless you are a chef, the kitchen is where dreams go to die.

Get up, get the kids ready for school, they are out the door at 7:35 a.m. Then I wash my face, brush my teeth, and drink a glass of cold water. Then I check my emails, LinkedIn, HIStalk, local newspaper. Around 9 a.m. I make breakfast and get back to work. To be honest, some days are so busy that I miss lunch, but usually I make a sandwich or a Trader Joe’s frozen meal. Kids get home at 3 p.m., greet them and make snacks. Back to work until 5 p.m.-ish.

When I work from home I get to work early, trading in my commute time for work time. This allows me to get off earlier, which I love. Same as when I am in the office, I start my day with coffee and email catch-up. I try to take short breaks to walk around the house for a few minutes every couple of hours in between meetings since I naturally sit more at home than when I am in the office. Since I am not eating lunch with co-workers, I will instead use the time to either take a walk or make a phone call to a friend or family member that I have put off.

I like to exercise first thing, then shower, make a real breakfast / coffee, etc. As close to my usual non-working-from-home-routine as possible. I stay in comfortable clothes, but change out of what I would sleep in, to help with the mindset / transition to focusing on work. I like to listen to the news (NPR or podcasts) while I make/ and at my breakfast to simulate a commute / transition to focusing on my day.

Dress differently, but email first when I am at my office or at my desk. I do get up to pet the dogs routinely when I am home.

Keeping office hours is key for me so my day stays on track, but also so I can take guilt-free breaks and my friends / family know when I’m available.

We require that our home-based employees work a predictable schedule that is worked out with their manager. We have multiple interactions each day with fellow team members.

Work from home, don’t live at work. You will find that you have much more time available. Tasks take less time to complete when distractions are reduced. Try to avoid the temptation of getting directly out of bed and sitting at your desk. Try to maintain personal spaces in your time that allow for breaks. It is not unusual for me to take a complete break during the day and go and do something quite different – shopping, cooking, reading, even watching sport – for an hour or so brings you back to your work refreshed.

After morning routine of getting kids to school, come home, put a load of laundry in the washer, prep my lunch, and sign on a few minutes before 8 a.m. I use productivity timers to build in breaks during the morning where I make tea, refill my water, or change over the laundry. If the weather is nice, I take a half-hour lunch, eat, and take the dog for a quick walk. After signing back on, I work through the rest of the day, taking a few breaks along the way. When I sign off at 4:30, I make notes for the next morning and shut down, including closing the door to the office so I’m not tempted to work on something later in the evening.

Treat every day like you’re going into work. Get dressed. Shower. Eat breakfast. Fix your hair. Do not get distracted by the house stuff you couldn’t do if you were at work. This is especially going to be true if the kids get stay-at-home orders from school If you’re used to a regular commute, make sure you treat that as “not at work time.” You can use that new found time to do the other things if you want.

I set an alarm and get up the same time every day. Either go to the Y or walk outside. Take a shower and get dressed when I get back. Getting dressed is key! I eat lunch and breakfast at my desk. If I don’t go for a walk in the morning, then sometimes I will take one during the day, if weather allows. I try to leave my desk and walk around the house at least every hour.

Following “normal” work hour schedule, and avoid working at all hours, since doing so implies that you’re available 24/7 and clients/co-workers begin to expect that. The biggest disadvantage of working from home is that you can’t socialize / connect with co-workers since you’re not just running into them in the hallway. Scheduling some catch up /social chatter time is always good during the phone calls, to ensure you’re in the know about the happenings that may be taking place while you’re remote.

I wake up at 6 a.m., do yoga / meditation, shower, and dress in business casual. Although it might be tempted to wear sweats at home, I’ve found that dressing professionally really helps get me in the correct headspace for work. I go to my home workspace and log in at 8.

Morning coffee, catch up on HIStalk, plan the day and hope to stick to the agenda!

Start work as soon as you can in them morning. It’s easy to fall in the habit of lounging around. And make sure you get walks outside. I aim for once in the morning and once at lunch. It’s easy to forget taking breaks and to get up and move.

Schedule times to get up and do something besides be at your computer. It’s not cheating on work; you’ll be more productive this way.

Follow the same morning routine – exercise / shower / etc. Get dressed. Don’t try to work in your PJs. It won’t work well for you. Stop promptly at the end of your day. Since you’re in the same physical space, it’s important to have that distinction.

I am not a good example! My goal is to shower by the time my husband gets home. One thing I do is prep dinner ingredients in the late afternoon to get a break from the desk and do something for me/family. I rarely eat at my desk so that I break up the day.

I schlep to work in my jammies with coffee in hand and shower at lunch time. Leave work on time and go walk the dogs! Cook for your family. You’re home! enjoy it.

I have the same routines if home or at the office.

Grab food and water and get to my computer ~5 min before my first meeting (8:30 a.m.) After the meeting, clean up from breakfast, stretch, and do any administrivia tasks while my mind wakes up. I block off after the morning meeting until lunch for my mind intensive work because I’m more awake and less likely to be distracted. On lunch, I mute all computer notifications and step away for an hour to eat, go on a walk, and clean up a bit. Post lunch I do less mind intensive things because I can’t concentrate as well. At the end of the day, I plan out what I’ll do the next day, clean up my work area and prep it for the next day (refill humidifier, clear off desk, set out anything I know I’ll use), and then I mute notifications and put my computer away. The most important part of the routine is to make yourself unavailable outside of normal working hours. This doesn’t mean turn your phone all the way off – you need a way to contact you – but you shouldn’t be checking your email / Slack notifications / work board. Set the boundaries between work and home or you’ll always feel stressed because you’re always “on.”

Try to keep the same business hour schedule as the rest of your team / company.

Wake up at 5:00. Go to the gym. Shower, breakfast, morning news. At my desk by 8:00. Work mostly all day, with no formal lunch break. Fruit and healthy grazing through the day. Workday is finished by 4:30-5:00. The biggest lesson for me was that it is important to have your workday start and stop. If you are not precise with that, your work and personal lives can get inextricably intertwined to the detriment of others in the home.

My office is upstairs, so every morning I take my purse and coffee upstairs as if I’m mentally going to work. I work from 8 a.m.- 12 noon, take one hour for lunch and do not eat at my desk – I go downstairs. I come back up promptly at 1 p.m. and then finish out my day at ~5:30 p.m. I also turn off my email notification so I’m not distracted.

Getting ready like it is a usual day is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. You don’t have to wear the best clothes, but look presentable. If you don’t, you run the risk of unexpected web / video conferences popping up and you are not looking the part. It also helps set a defining cadence just like you’d have in the office so you can more easily shut down when it is time.

Try to keep regimented; defined start / stop times

Get up, take a shower, get coffee and then go into “office.” Don’t plan to get other home tasks done during working hours.

Almost identical to my in-office routine, with the exception of no commute time.

Treat as normal work day. Take a lunch break or eat at your desk.

Same as you would with the office. Don’t break that routine – get up, prepare, and “go to work.” If your commute is longer, perhaps listen to the same radio show or podcast for the same time period. If it makes you feel better, dress the same, but I can honestly say this is the least regimented thing I stick to. Don’t stay in pajamas though — that will end badly for motivation.

Be disciplined – always create a to-do list and check things off as you go. This is even more important remotely than at the office.

In at 8 a.m. with coffee. Respond to priority emails first (I’m always checking email on my phone outside of work hours). Try to clean up my inbox as much as possible before jumping into calls. Before the end of the day, review what’s planned for the next day or two to make sure I’m prepped as needed. I’ve been working from home for almost 21 years and can’t imagine going back to an office.

Drop the kids off at daycare then come back and pour a cup of coffee, review my Outlook calendar and tasks for the day, catch up on the industry headlines, and then dive into work..

It’s as if I go to work each day, but my commute is a walk down the hall to a spare bedroom. I work only once I have taken care of my personal needs (shower, dress, eat, etc.). I take four complete breaks a day, including lunch. When I end my day, I formally end my day and do my best to disconnect from work, even if I am still playing on my computer. I actually invested in a ‘home’ computer so I can actually not feel compelled to log into anything when I am surfing, streaming, or gaming.

Get up and shower and dress casual but keep the same routine as if you were going to work. Don’t take calls in PJs.

Set a daily schedule of items to do. Take frequent breaks to get up, walk around, and go outside. Stick to my schedule, and when the day is done, close my computer and walk away. I try to think of my office space the same as a cubicle.

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