Insightful takes on scaling your business

7 tips for my fellow humans stuck working from home

Don't worry, I've got you

Yessi Bello Perez
Story by
Yessi Bello Perez

Senior Writer, Growth QuartersYessi leads the writing efforts at TNW’s Growth Quarters. Yessi leads the writing efforts at TNW’s Growth Quarters.

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Well, hello there, fellow human! How are you? Let me guess, working from home? Or as the cool kids say, ‘WFH.’

It’s lonely, I know. The great news is that you can wave your commute goodbye and you’ll no longer have to put up with peoples’ loud chewing or smelling farts other than your own.

[Read: How to recover from burnout and chronic work stress, according to a psychologist]

The bad news is that you’re likely to be stuck at home for some time, but don’t worry because I’m here to help.

I’ve been WFH for a while (I love it!) and in the spirit of “sharing is caring” I wanted to give you a few survival tips to help you stay sane. 

1. Talk to yourself

Yes, that’s right, you’ve read this correctly: Talk to yourself as much as you can.

I’m not sure if there’s any science behind it but I personally find it helps my thought process.

Saying things out loud makes me feel less lonely but it also makes it harder to lose focus. And if you’re worried about what others think, well, don’t, because you’re alone!

2. Listen to music

There’s never been a better time to subscribe to a music streaming service such as Spotify. I can’t even tell you in words how much music has helped me stay sane and productive.

My taste is quite eclectic: If I’m on deadline, I tend to stick to Ludovico Einaudi or Hans Zimmer — but I’m not averse to Reggaeton. I mean, I’ve even created a playlist for you!

3. Open the windows — and if you can, sit near a window

This is probably the best advice you’ll get from me today.

If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, make sure you open the windows to let plenty of fresh air and light into the room.

I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to open the blinds and found myself feeling restless mid-afternoon. And if the desk or kitchen table you’re currently working from at home isn’t by a window, don’t be afraid of a little redecorating and dragging it somewhere you can see the sunlight  — it’s gonna save your life in the coming weeks.

4. Get outside

If you want to go one step further, make sure you get out of the house every day, without fail.

I realize this can be difficult if you’re on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic but worst case scenario, you can stick your head out of the window for a few minutes or if you are lucky, sit in your garden. 

5. Light a candle and put out fresh flowers

This is going to sound super extra, but don’t underestimate the importance of creating a soothing environment.

For me, that’s fresh flowers and a smelly candle. Looking at the flowers makes me happy and, well, who doesn’t love a candle? Add some plants if you can, grab the potted plant in the living room and put it on your desk, anything that helps you bring the outdoors indoors.   

My handy water bottle and flowers (yes, they’re fake. Don’t judge me).

6. Have water at your desk

Make sure you stay well-hydrated during the day.

I tend to keep a 500 ml reusable water bottle on my desk at all times.

If you struggle to drink water during the day, consider dropping in some sliced fresh fruit into your bottle to add some extra flavor (treat yo self). And — one I struggle with — try to avoid drinking too much coffee… it may be the nectar of the Gods, but it’s important to consume it in moderation.

7. Call your loved ones

Working from home can be isolating, even if you enjoy spending time by yourself.

To workaround this, try and schedule regular calls or chats with your friends and family.

If you were in the office you’d spend at least 30 minutes throughout the day chatting around the water cooler, so don’t feel guilty about taking a bit of time for social interaction while working from home.  

I stay in touch with my closest friends via Whatsapp, and try and keep the web version open on my desktop at all times so I don’t have to switch between screens. Chatting is great, but don’t underestimate the power of a phone call: I call my four grandparents in Spain almost every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It breaks up the day and it also gives them — and me — something to look forward to. 

Working from home is not for everyone, but if you follow the above recommendations you should be able to do it effectively while also keeping your sanity. 

How are you and your company dealing with WFH life these days? Let us know by tweeting tips, tricks, and inspiration to @Growth_Quarters!

Published March 17, 2020 — 11:30 UTC

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