How Can I Make Working at Home Suck Less?

How to make work from home suck less.
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The idea of working from home is usually pretty exciting for most people and probably was for you too. However, sometimes you might quickly realize that it’s not as glamorous as you had hoped. 

Although I love working from home, I also am aware that not everyone will have the same feeling as me. And with more companies going fully remote or having flexible options, you might currently be getting a bit stir crazy at home.

If you are on this post, then you probably are feeling that remote work is challenging, lonely, or you are feeling a bit unmotivated. Don’t worry this is common for all remote workers at some point during their work from home career. 

So how can you make working at home suck less? Below are a few tips to help you be more energized when working remotely and find it more bearable.

Tips to Make Working At Home Suck Less

Here are a few tips that you can try and apply to your remote work situation. It’s easy to get into a rut while working from home, but there are ways to make the experience much better.

1. Create a unique space for your work

What is one of the most interesting aspects when working from home, in my opinion? Getting to create your own workspace! 

Everyone has different living arrangements that can make creating a home office easier than others. But either way, try to make the space you’re working from comfy, productive, and inspiring. 

I currently have a dedicated space in the living room that has things that interest me. For example, I have some of my favorite books accessible, plants on my desk, posters and pictures from my travels, speakers for music, etc. 

To me, this helps it feel like a creative space. Plus if I need to take a break, I can grab my favorite book, get inspired by past travels, or kick back and listen to some music. 

2. Schedule more social interactions

One of the challenges for most remote workers is the tendency to feel isolated or lonely. There are numerous studies and data points around this topic, but here are two worth noting: 

  • In Wellbeing at Work, Gallup’s Jim Clifton and Jim Harter highlight that around 25% of Americans report feeling loneliness for much of their day. (Forbes)
  • In its Loneliness and the Workplace Report, Cigna indicates that 60% of Americans report feeling lonely at work. (Cigna)

When you are working from home, social interactions can dwindle. You no longer have lunches with co-workers, quick breaks to catch up, a random office drop by, etc. 

But there are a few things you can do to ensure that loneliness doesn’t creep up so often.

  • Schedule more frequent virtual chats or lunches with co-workers. You can do this via Slack, Zoom, or even give them a call via phone if you have their number.
  • Join a co-working space to be surrounded by others (ask if your employer already has access to some or if you can expense it if you join one).
  • Make after-work plans with friends or family on various occasions. It’s a great way to unwind and connect socially after your workday. 
  • Change up your scenery. Work from a coffee shop if it has decent WiFi, work outside, or go where you’ll be surrounded by other people. That social energy alone can be a game-changer to your remote work routine.

These are just a few ideas, but you get the idea. The goal is to get more of that human connection as you can, so you don’t frequently feel lonely while working from home.

3. Set reminders to get moving 

One reason working from home can suck is you forget to get moving. What do I mean by this? Well, this could be going for walks, working out, stretching – anything to get your body limber and moving. 

It’s so easy to break that routine when you work remotely. And instead, you end up staring at your screen for 8+ hours straight and are hunched over that whole time. 

Physical exercise is not only good for your body but stimulates your brain and energizes you. This not only breaks up your workday but hopefully stimulates positivity and feeling good too. 

I also struggled with this a bit, where I’d get so wrapped up in my work or a project, I’d forget to take breaks to get moving. Now I have a few alarm reminders on my phone for stretching, quick workouts, and ensuring to move my body throughout the day.

4. Maintain a healthy workday routine 

In order to make remote work more bearable, it’s important you find a healthy routine for your workweek.

I also know routines can also get mundane, which is why it’s good to have those social interactions after work and do things that interest you. 

But having a routine for your work from home schedule gives you stability and structure. It also helps you set work boundaries, so you aren’t working 12+ hours every day. I’ve been there myself where it’s so easy to keep working since you are already at home. 

However, when I created a routine for myself it helped me stay focused on when I will start work and when I will shut down for the day.

And this also creates boundaries for my colleagues to know that at a certain time, I won’t be responding on Slack or emails (unless of course an extreme emergency).

5. Become a digital nomad instead

This option won’t be realistic for everyone (or maybe it doesn’t even interest you), but becoming a digital nomad has grown in popularity in recent years. 

Being a digital nomad is a unique way to experience the world while working remotely, without being tied down to one physical location. As long as you have internet and a laptop, you can work wherever and whenever! 

Now, there are a few challenges with this style of work.

  • First, your company has to be on board and sign off on this. More so if you plan on traveling to different time zones or countries. 
  • And the second is finding good WiFi, especially if you are in remote locations or countries where the internet is not as strong. 

Being a digital nomad might be tougher if you have a growing family, but that hasn’t stopped others from doing so with their significant others or children. Today you can find digital nomads traveling around to different locations via RVs, custom-built vans, or staying in various Airbnb homes. 

And you don’t have to be a digital nomad forever either. But if you are finding working from home boring or unbearable, this could be a great option to change it up and visit new places around the world while working.  

Final Thoughts

While I am a huge fan of remote work and hybrid work options, it’s certainly not for everyone.

And that’s okay! 

If you are currently working from home though and feeling like you are in a rut, consider the above tips.

These might not completely change your mind about working remotely, but each option should improve your experience and the quality of your work life at home. 

Happy remote working!

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About Todd Kunsman

Todd is the founder of Remote Work Junkie and has been featured in numerous publications like Business Insider, HuffPost, CNBC, and more. He’s been a remote work advocate for close to a decade and has been working remotely full-time for 5+ years. He’s also a marketing, personal finance, and music nerd 🤓

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