With every job, it's easy to find yourself caught in a rut. Habits develop overtime without us ever realizing we are following one simply because they are comfortable to us.
There is nothing new or unknown to worry about. However, every good routine needs a few changes to mix it up here and there. Adding in more variety throughout our days stimulates our brains, decreases boredom and provides a more fulfilled lifestyle.
Working remotely definitely comes with its pros and cons. One major pro is the ability to set your own schedule. However, most remote workers aren't taking advantage of this benefit. Instead they revert back to the 9-5 working hours because that’s all they know.
If you want to mix up the routine and add some variety into your life, check out these 10 tips you can do while working from home.
1. Change your environment with coffee shops
This is a given. Coffee shops are home to multiple remote workers, freelancers, casual coffee-sippers, book lovers, etc.
Why are coffee shops so amazing?
Because, instead of staring at your wall or being isolated in your home, you can incorporate social interaction into your standard work-from-home routine.
You can talk to the barista and immerse yourself among other workers throughout the cafe. Coffee shops have also been shown to boost concentration and productivity rate.
According to the Association for Psychological Science, “... participants exert more mental effort when the person next to them [is] doing so… Simply performing a task next to a person who exerts a lot of effort in a task will make you do the same.”
2. Explore other possible work spaces
You don’t just have to rely on coffee shops. Libraries, community centers, restaurants are all splendid places to put in a solid day’s work.
The location you choose highly depends on your concentration levels and what works for you.
For example, if you require a quiet place with zero distractions, libraries are great environments for these benchmarks. If you work better engulfed with people around you and at energy venues, find a local restaurant with an atmosphere you enjoy.
Tip: If you become a regular, you might get lucky with some free food and drinks!
3. Break up the time you work
Depending on your work schedule, a simple way to break up your routine is by splitting your time. If you aren’t required to be available for certain hours, why not work in shifts?
Start early and put in a few hours, take a break and enjoy the sunshine. Go for a hike, get your shopping in, run errands and enjoy your afternoon. At a later time, finish the rest of your work as the sun goes down.
By breaking up your hours, you get the benefit of enjoying your day, receive a better work-life balance, and jumping away from the average 9-5 workday.
4. Use a standing/sitting desk
How does a piece of furniture switch up your work routine?
While your work is the same, you can give your body a brief break from sitting all day.
Change in movement not only decreases your body and mind’s boredom, but comes with extra health benefits as an added plus. According to Workrite, switching from sitting to standing periodically throughout the day decreases obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, helps with circulation and protects you against chronic pain and inflammation.
It’s recommended to sit for 30 - 40 minutes and switch to standing for 15 - 20 minutes while you work if comfortable. Similar to sitting, you need to maintain the correct posture when standing to avoid any numbness and kinks.
5. Take breaks and walk outside
Don’t neglect your break time.
You might feel you’re too busy to take your break or try to work while eating. Avoid this! Your body and mind needs a break, especially if you want to increase concentration and productivity throughout the day rather than watch it decrease.
Taking a break and walking around the neighborhood allows you to shake out your stiff joints, muscles and reset your mind.
One study conducted by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh revealed that the best cure for brain fog was taking a walk through nature. Going for a brief walk, especially one with plenty of nature increased concentration at work, restored attention span and sharpened thinking.
So instead of pushing through your project, why not take a break and come back with some fresh ideas.
6. Look into coworking spaces
If you have some extra pocket change and you’re looking for a way to change up your daily habits, check out coworking spaces in your area.
A coworking space is an immense office space or working environment that remote workers and teams use to conduct business. Whether you miss the office or the atmosphere of business, these spaces are used to bring remote workers together and back in the office when they want to be.
7. Get an early start (for early risers)
As mentioned above, if you are not obligated to be online at a certain time, take advantage of this perk. Getting an early start means waking up around 7am-8am and clocking in.
What's the benefit to clocking in early?
You get off early!
For an average work week of 40 hours, clocking on by 7am means you’re off by 3pm. Now what!!?? You have an early start to the rest of your day to accomplish unfinished tasks, errands, run the beach, and enjoy the daylight!
8. Get a late start (for night owls)
If you hate mornings, why not get started later?
Get some extra shut eye, achieve things during the day and start work in the afternoon. This doesn’t have to be an everyday schedule, rather than do it when you need a change in pace or a catch up on sleep.
Don’t start too late though, or else you’ll be working well into the night.
9. Take your work outside
Whether you live in an apartment with a balcony or a house with a patio, find some shade and work outside. Most WIFI signals stretch to just outside of your living area, so you should be able to pull up a chair and work with no delays.
Not only is this a change in scenery, but you're immersing yourself in nature and getting extra oxygen, which is great for your body and mind.
10.Weekly virtual team chats
This is a fun idea! While working from home provides great flexibility, individuals are more isolated compared to working in an office.
With little social interaction, your workweeks could turn into a blur. If your team is up for it, try to schedule a weekly get-together, catchup meeting with the entire team. Catch up not only on work goals, but new life changes and achievements.
Social interactions stimulate our brains, boost the happy hormones and offers a pleasant break from automated remote engagements.