Depending on who you talk to, working from home is either the best thing ever, or it’s really rough stuff. It’s not an easy world to navigate for everyone, especially those who rely on the amenities of the office and the reliable schedule of a normal work day.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization shows that there are certain advantages and disadvantages to working from home. On one hand, for dull and boring tasks, a more structured work environment is beneficial. However for creative tasks, working from home is better.
If you’re someone who’s having difficulty adjusting to work from home life, you may be experiencing a lack of motivation. Perhaps you’ve got low energy levels or can’t stay focused. Regardless, there are a lot of great ways you can combat these lethargic feelings by simply staying on track and breaking some bad work from home habits.
You may think working from home gives you the freedom to work however you want, and to an extent it does, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain some basic ground rules. To help you pinpoint what may be holding you back, here are five bad work habits you should look out for.
1. Working in your pajamas
This is a big one. One of the biggest allures to working from home is being able to simply work in whatever clothes you’re wearing—or no clothes at all! While this may seem appealing, it can actually make you less focused and productive.
“Dress for the job you want” might be changed for this advice blog to “dress for the job you currently have”...even if you’re working from home. Getting changed and wearing proper working attire is a great way to cue your mind and prepare it for “work mode.”
2. Sleeping in late
Resist the temptation to sleep in late, this is a poor work habit that you need to break. This is practical for several reasons:
You might be needed earlier for something and if you’re asleep or half-awake, you won’t be able to respond adequately.
You’ll start staying up later and later, reducing your time spent enjoying the morning.
You might have trouble readjust back to waking up early when it’s time to go back to the office.
This is important to keep in mind. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re off. You can take more liberties and take your time, sure, but try not to upset your sleep schedule so that you can maintain a healthy sleeping cycle and ensure you get the proper amount of rest for the workday.
3. Keeping loose work hours
It’s important when you work from home to maintain a strict separation of working and leisure hours. When you’re doing both things in the same space, it’s tempting for the line to get blurred, meaning you’re never fully in either working mode or relaxation mode. Both are important!
Be sure to keep a set schedule of working hours, and always finish on time. Turn off your notifications after work so you don’t have to deal with any after-hours emails until you're back “on the clock” the next day. It’s important for you to respect your resting and relaxing time as much as you do your work time.
4. Working in bed
This is a big no-no. You need to get out of bed! If you stay in bed, you’ll encounter a host of problems:
- You won’t be in a working mindset. Your brain doesn’t associate staying in bed with going to work.
- You’ll feel drowsy and find it more difficult to focus.
- You’ll feel cramped and develop back pain overtime. Working in bed is not an ergonomic position!
Be sure not to give into this temptation. It not only impacts your ability to work efficiently and with focus, but it also has detrimental physical impacts on your health. Getting out of bed, working at a proper desk, and stretching every so often will help you stay sharp and alert.
5. Working in a cramped office space
Some people work in bed, on their couch, or on their table, and don’t give themselves the proper work-from-home desk setup they deserve. You can’t do your best work if you’re not working with the best tools.
Consider investing in an affordable standing desk and an ergonomic office chair to make your work day that much more manageable. A standing desk will help you by allowing you to do your work standing if you want to. An office chair with lots of different levers and adjustments will conform to what your body needs much more than a simple kitchen chair.
Overall, these are the five things anyone working from home should avoid. Do you find yourself tempted by any of these bad work from home habits? Got any of your own work from home advice to share? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
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