Are you still working from home? At Printfresh, we are back in the office, but almost everyone still spends a day or two working from home. We’ve heard from many of you that your transition to the home office may be permanent, so we thought it was time to revisit how to best transition between work and being off the clock. This helps combat burnout tremendously. Without the separation between work and home, it’s so much easier to feel like you’re always on the clock. We learned to set important boundaries for ourselves early on. Here’s how we’ve done it so that you can do it too!
How to Successfully Work From Home: Our 6 Best Tips
Our top six tips for successfully working from home:
1. Set up your workspace
Start your day by getting ready to work. Make your bed, clear clutter from last night, and set up in a place that is comfortable and well-lit. This will help you transition into the workday. If your home doesn’t have a dedicated office space or an open desk, pick a counter or table in a well-lit area and try to get a comfortable chair.
2. Put on your “uniform”
We all wear comfortable but slightly more “professional-looking” attire, even just from the waist up! Our founder Amy suggests spending an extra minute or two on your hairstyle. She says, “I think that taking the time to style your hair is probably the most important thing in zoom meetings. It's sometimes hard to see people’s outfits and let's face it - we all know you're at home, so there’s no need to get fancy.”
In fact, some of us wear our Printfresh pajama button-down tops or throw a cute cardigan over a cami. Depending on the season, we might also stay in our Printfresh cropped pants or the pants from our long sleep sets. With a solid color t-shirt or sweater on top, we can be camera ready at a moment’s notice.
Whatever you choose to wear during the workday, make sure it's comfortable and helps you feel focused. If your pants are too loose or your shirt keeps falling off your shoulder and you’re spending more time adjusting your clothes than working it’s hard to get anything done.
3. Work when you’re most productive
Between kids, pets, and other distractions, it can be hard to sit down and focus for 8 or so hours (a full work day) straight. Try to structure your day so you can do your most important tasks when you’re most productive. If you work in the type of job where you have a lot of meetings and conference calls, try to schedule at least one or two call-free blocks a week for deep work so you can concentrate on getting things done.
Otherwise, take advantage of the times you know you work best. If you need to focus on some writing try to do it earlier in the morning or in the evening, whenever you feel most productive. If you feel like you’re just sitting and staring at a blank screen - give yourself a break. Move on to something less mentally demanding or take a short walk and come back when you feel more focused or refreshed.
4. Use your calendar to create space
If you need to get your kids to school or want to take some time in the afternoon for a walk or a stretch break, put it on your calendar. That way when scheduling meetings others can see that you aren’t available during times when you don’t want to be. Don’t worry about important meetings when you do this. If someone needs you for something critical they can ask, and you can decide if you can accommodate them at the time they’d like.
It’s okay to be picky about attending meetings or making commitments of your time. One thing you might want to do is ask the meeting organizer for an agenda before agreeing to attend a meeting or to clarify your role. If you are not a key decision-maker and just need to know the outcome of a meeting, maybe you can just review the notes or action items that come out of the meeting instead of attending in real-time.
5. Communicate proactively
Your colleagues and family are not mind readers, so if you need help it’s okay to ask for it before you become overwhelmed. For example, ask your boss not to text you after 7 pm or ask your children not to interrupt you when you are on Zoom or taking an important phone call. This will help to ensure that you are protecting your boundaries and making time for both focused work and leisure time.
6. Take care of your physical needs
When working from home, it is just as important to make sure you’re taking care of your physical needs. This can include regular bathroom breaks, drinking enough water, eating healthy snacks and meals, and exercising regularly. When working from home it can be easy to drink too much coffee, forget to eat a proper lunch, or work through the spin class you love. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself and if you find that you need a little extra help, like having groceries delivered or having Sweetgreen deliver a few salads for lunch, that’s okay too.
While we may all be working or learning from home for the foreseeable future, we hope these tips will help set you up for continued success. Don’t forget to wind down at the end of a successful workday, try a gratitude practice, and change into a fresh pair of Printfresh pajamas.
PF MAG is dedicated to thoughtful, not-so-simple living. Founded by Amy Voloshin as a stationery and sleepwear brand, Printfresh has grown into far more than that. Our articles provide discerning perspectives on all things lifestyle, including fashion, wellness, design, travel and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most.