After working from home for a year now, I’ve finally nailed down how
I have made working from home work for me. I wanted to share some tips on how I did just that, and how you can too!
Way back in March of 2020 when we all started working from home “for two weeks,” I did not have a great setup. But that was fine as it was only going to be a few weeks and then we’d back in our offices… right? Right?!?!
My fiancé would take his work calls in the bedroom and I would work from the living room. He was working on our bed while I was working on our couch. In other words, neither of our work from home setups were very ergonomic.
And on top of that, my fiancé is a recruiter which means he is on calls all day long and our walls were paper thin. Any call he took was insanely distracting. It got to the point where I was mocking his “phone voice” constantly.
(To be fair, everyone’s phone voice deserves some light mocking)
It was also getting to the point where I was having major panic attacks. I felt claustrophobic. I felt helpless. Like I could not stand working in this space one second longer. The realization that we were going to be working from home for quite some time was starting to sink in.
I’ve Had Enough!
Fast forward to June 2020, my fiancé and I have had enough, and we’ve decided to call it quits – with our apartment! There were many reasons we hated that apartment, and we decided saving money on insanely cheap rent was no longer worth our sanity. So we found a 2 bedroom apartment a bit further than we would have picked if we were still commuting.
You’d think that my work from home situation would be instantly perfect after that. Well, we got a bunch of office furniture and created an office but that ended up being where my fiancé works from, and I was still in the (bad) habit of working on the couch.
I eventually started working from our kitchen table. This provided some more stability when I had days where I was constantly on Zoom meetings. I had a little basket that I would use to hold all of my office supplies so I could easily clean up come dinner time. But I wasn’t great about using that space. Setting up and taking down your workspace every single day is NOT as appealing as propping your feet up on your comfy couch. So something had to be done.
How I Made Working From Home Work For Me – Shopping! Duh!
Not too long ago, I was looking for a new planner (and perusing the new Rae Dunn items) at HomeGoods. That was when I came across the PERFECT desk. It is so cute and I am absolutely obsessed with it. I even found a chair that works perfectly with it on Amazon. This was tough because I was being very picky about the chair because I didn’t want an “office chair” sitting in our living room.
I can now say that after about 8 months of working from home in our new apartment, I have finally found my groove, so here are some of my biggest tips and suggestions for making sure your work from home space is best for you.
Upgrade Your WFH Space
- An external keyboard. If you pair it with an external mouse and a laptop stand it can help with your posture.
- An ergonomic mouse (or at least a separate mouse or trackpad than your laptop).
- If you can, get a monitor or at least a laptop stand, so your screen is at a better angle. Goodbye, “tech neck!”
- Good lighting for Zoom calls. When I was sitting at my kitchen table I had great natural lighting. For my new set up, I got a ring light that allows me to adjust the brightness.
- If you have AirPods, I highly suggest these covers to keep your AirPods more secure in your ears. Alternatively, having any sort of Bluetooth headphones dedicated to just your workspace makes life a million times better.
- Blue light glasses if you’re staring at a computer all day. Personally, I have about 4 different pairs because I’m indecisive. My favorite pair are these light brown ones (they look pink) from Amazon. They have a slight magnification which helps if you’re doing a lot of reading from your different devices.
- If you don’t have a good background behind you, save a bunch of backgrounds in a folder for your conference calls. I like to switch mine up for more professional ones, seasonal, or for fun/social chats.
- Back support! If you’re working at a kitchen table chair like I was instead of an office chair – get a pillow that gives you some support. The one I used is technically meant for your car, but it works just the same! Although my current chair has some cushion built-in, if I’m tired or sore I still use my support pillow.
- Lastly, if you’re not working in a dedicated WFH space like an office or desk, have a basket where you can throw all of your work items in at the end of the day. That way, when I packed up my stuff, I felt less like I was surrounded by my work 24/7.
Non-Shopping Related Tips
Obviously, shopping can’t always be the fix-all, so I’ve outlined my top 5 tips on how else I’ve made working from home in a pandemic work for me!
- Take breaks
It is unrealistic to think that you should be working at a computer from 9-5 without any breaks. So if you need to, set reminders on your calendar to take a snack or walk break.
- Avoid “Zoom fatigue”
When you can turn off your camera on calls. It can be mentally draining to stare at your face all day.
- Set boundaries
Make sure your team is clear on when you’re available or unavailable, and stick to it! Just because someone else is messaging you at 9 pm does not mean you need to respond right away.
It’s so easy to get caught up in your work when you’re staring at a screen all day, so keep a water bottle nearby and fill it up often.
- Create a routine
When I get up in the morning, I immediately change into my comfy work clothes, wash my face, and put on Vitamin C serum and SPF lotion. Then I make my coffee and check my messages. When I used to check my messages first thing, I would get sucked into my work, and before I knew it, it was lunchtime and I hadn’t changed out of my PJs. My skin has been very thankful that I don’t wait until 2-3 pm to wash it anymore.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to walk away from this with a few tips for your own work from home set up. I know that I wouldn’t want anyone else to take as long as I did to figure this out, and hey, you might have already figured it out. If you have come up with unique or fun ways to make working from home during a pandemic work for you, share below!
The Anxious Shopper 😘