Career Trends: What ‘not to do’ when working from home

3 min read

Edition: May 15, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Working in an office and working from home are different, so try and figure out a schedule that suits you. (Image Credit: iStock)

Excerpts from article by Ryan Tidwell, published on

With all of the unavoidable distractions that come with working from home, it can be challenging to adapt to working remotely. The place we found refuge in after a long day at the office has now absorbed the office!

Now that work and home are in one place, it’s crucial for us to govern ourselves and how we spend our time.

There is a lot of freedom with working from home, which is great for work/life balance, but we must keep ourselves in check.

Here’s a ‘To-Not-Do List’ when working from home to maintain balance:

1. Don’t “go with the flow”

This is not to be confused with being flexible about surprise work demands. Always be accommodating to the needs of your team and organisation. But be intentional about planning out your day. Everything from project deadlines to when you can do the dishes. Block time for when you need to focus on work and when you can take a break to get household chores done.

2. Don’t just work anywhere

You can add some variety to where you work throughout the day. But it is important to designate work areas and non-work areas. This can help distinguish when you’re “at work” and when you’re taking a break. Separation of where you work and where you don’t is the key.

3. Don’t stay cooped up

We often procrastinate when we’re unmotivated, which can happen when we coop ourselves up. Go outside. Walk around. In an office, it’s common for people to walk around their office. The same should apply for working remotely. It’s easy to be even more sedentary at home than it is at the office—don’t forget to move around.

4. Don’t constantly check social media

With everything going on today, it is important to stay grounded in reality. While social media can stir constructive debate and dialogue about things such as COVID-19, it can also sensationalise things like pandemics and cause more anxiety. Reserve social media for breaks. Also, try and have breaks where you don’t have to look at a screen.

5. Don’t burn yourself out

When you’re working from home, it’s easy to work more hours than you would at the office. Initiative is great but working so much that it consumes the vast majority of your time is not. Don’t burn yourself out—try packing up your work devices if you have a hard time not getting sucked back into work. We need to rest and have time away from work.

6. Don’t snack all day

It’s easy to be a serial eater when you work remotely. Substitute junk food with fruits, veggies and nuts. Use a small bowl and limit yourself. If you succumb to the temptation of eating junk food all day, you’ll feel sluggish.

Lastly, don’t forget that working from home takes some getting used to. Be patient and find your own rhythm. Working in an office and working from home are different and that’s okay — trust the process and figure out a schedule that works for you.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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