Working from home not working?

A few years ago only 6% of employees had ever worked from home.1 Now we find ourselves in a bona fide WFH revolution. At Toggle® we’re always fans of more freedom and flexibility, so this is definitely a stride in the right direction. We now have the power to create the work environment of our dreams just a couple of feet from where we sleep. (Or, if you work from bed, exactly where you sleep.) But WFH can also turn life into a perpetual Edge of Tomorrow if we’re not developing good home office habits. If this whole work from home thing is going to be long term, now is the time to get started.

Man Sitting in Bed on Computer
Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash

All blaze, no burnout.

As an insurance company we look for the hazards in any situation. So we definitely see how working from home can start to invade every minute of your life. That, friend, can be a one-way street to burnout city. As remote workers we think one of the keys to avoiding burnout is a peaceful coexistence for your work and your life. Fortunately, you found yourself on a blog all about cultivating work life balance with WFH-pro habits.

Family Having Breakfast While Woman WorksPhoto by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Make the most of the WFH commute.

The five-step commute from bed to desk is a dream come true. It may even be the best perk of working remotely. So let’s use our newfound free time to create a blissful morning routine and start every day strong. Your routine could be close to what you used to do before your old commute. Alarm. Shower. Clothes. Coffee. Piece of toast. (Hopefully with some bonus snooze time.) Or you can replace those infuriating traffic jams and nose-to-elbow subway rides with a pre-work-time routine full of amazing inspiration. You can start to meditate! Take up Tai Chi! Practice your pancake-flipping skills! The morning is yours. All you need to make the most of it is make a habit of doing your thing every day at the same time.

Woman on Sofa WorkingPhoto by Ave Calvar on Unsplash

Enjoy the exec life.

In the before times, most office workers were not blessed with private space. We were the cubicle or open-plan-crowded-table crew enviously staring at the closed doors of senior executives doing “very important work.” Thank goodness privacy is no longer reserved for the C-Suite. Take advantage of this lavish out-of-office perk to create a haven in your own place that’s 100% dedicated to work (with the rest of the square footage dedicated to fun times). Your home office could be a cozy living room corner, a couch cushion dedicated to deep thought or a fancy little cloffice. Make yours a place filled with natural light, curious objects of inspiration. A place with a video call backdrop that isn’t rumpled clothes on an unmade bed.

Desk with Macbook Open Photo by Conor Sexton on Unsplash

Delete distractions.

*Cracks knuckles* Okay, let’s get this work don — Hang on... a delivery notification — Wait! Is that a blue-headed finch outside of the window? Sorry, got distracted for a sec. Distractions at work used to happen all the time, even before your office had literally all your cool stuff in it. (Quick side note: You could get renters insurance to help you cover that cool stuff.) So it’s definitely a good idea to delete as many distractions as possible from your workday during working hours. Simple things. Like muting social media notifications during working hours. Resisting the temptation of idle tap games. Less time spent staring off into space wondering,Does renters insurance cover pet damage?” The most diligent distraction deleters reward themselves with a faster workday and more personal time.

Computer Screens That Say Breathe Photo by Sanni Sahil on Unsplash

Build in some breaks.

You used to take 10 breaks at work. Now you eat breakfast at 4pm. Even though kicking out distractions makes us more productive, you should still try to work breaks into your work schedule multiple times a day. This shouldn’t be hard. Especially considering you have access to better snacks and all your cool stuff. So between the seemingly endless video chats and conference calls, try to take breaks every day to sneak in a salty snack or soak in the fresh air and sunshine.

Person Typing on ComputerPhoto by Major Tom Agency on Unsplash

Create in-home hydration rituals.

All this talk about salty, delicious snacks has us parched. Let’s both take a relaxing hydration break. No, your fourth cold brew of the day doesn’t count. We’re talking good, old-fashioned H2O — one of the few old-fashioned things we’re fans of at Toggle. You may have heard of the 8x8 rule — 8 glasses of water 8 times a day. But that advice is now said to be outdated, and modern advice says to base how much you hydrate on your body weight. In guesstimate terms that’s roughly 15 cups a day for men and 11 a day for women. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, the good news is that it includes water in the food you eat. If you don’t have a device that already reminds you to drink, consider adding hourly reminders to your work calendar to keep you on track. We believe in your ability to nail this healthy habit. 

Computer Screen Saying 9:55PMPhoto by NATHAN MULLET on Unsplash

The importance of logging off.

The number 1 computer killer is never shutting it down. See, even machines need rest. And you’re not made of glass and silicon. Though, if you’re a cyborg, let’s talk. We need to give ourselves time to power down. It’s the easiest way to separate your home work life and home personal life. While we get that it’s not always possible, try to keep work time reserved to office hours (whatever those may be). Outside of those hours, you don’t need work emails getting pushed to your phone. Having separate work devices and personal devices, if you can afford it, makes this easier to do. This will give you the time to focus on things that refill your brain tanks. Enjoyable activities like catching up with family members. Working on your side hustle. Reading blogs from renters insurance companies. Listening to music while you take care of the tasks that used to distract you. These post-work hours are your time, unless you make a habit out of giving them away.

Computer Surrounded by PlantsPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Like plants, your habits need nurturing.

Due to the karmic unfairness of brain chemistry, it’s easier to break a habit than to make one. You’re not alone if you have trouble forming new habits. Psychologists suggest it takes 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic.2 The only way to get there is by taking it day by day until it’s as automatic as your monthly renters insurance payments. No quick fixes here. Remember, everything in this blog is about lifestyle changes to help keep you happy working from home in the long term. 

Woman on Windows Surface ComputerPhoto by Surface on Unsplash

Happy habit-ing.

We hope these tips help you start to create the work life habits you need. There’s so much to love about the freedom of working from home. And that freedom kind of relies on us creating the structure the office used to provide. We’re sure more will change about the way we work. But there’s one habit we hope never will: midday naps. In fact, we might take one right now. 

Now that you're a pro at working from home, check out more adulting tips at this blog.



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