The COVID-19 crisis has forced countless businesses to close down, leaving millions of workers unemployed. And a large number of people who are still employed have been pushed into a work-from-home setup for the time being.
Many people adapt well to remote work, and even come to enjoy it more than office life. But if you're not in that camp, you may be miserable right about now. If you're stuck working from home and hate it, here are a few things you can do to make the situation more tolerable.
1. Create a routine that works for you
Some people thrive on structure, but doing your job from home could mean not having a schedule, at all. If that's the case, figure out a routine that gets you through the day and stick to it. Get up at a certain time, commit to specific working hours, and build in other activities, like exercise, that keep you engaged. It also helps to try to go to bed around the same time each night so you don't wind up sleep-deprived to add to your misery.
2. Get dressed every day
If you're working from home and don't have remote meetings to attend, it can be tempting to stay in pajamas all day. Don't do it. The mere act of getting dressed and looking presentable could work wonders for your outlook.
3. Get out during the day
When you work in an office, you're generally forced to get fresh air, even if it's just a few minutes here and there as you walk to and from your car in the building parking lot. When you work from home, there's no real reason to leave your house on those days when you don't need to hit the store. But getting out is good for you, so work it into your schedule, whether that means going for a 20-minute walk in your neighborhood or setting up your laptop on your deck for an hour each afternoon.
4. Schedule social time
If you're missing social interaction with your colleagues right now, you're not alone. The good news? It's easy to stay in touch from afar. Schedule remote lunches with your usual office lunch buddies, or gather your team for an online happy hour. A little more connection could really go a long way when you're stuck in the house.
5. Remind yourself it's not permanent
Right now, there's no timeline for when the social distancing measures that led all of these work-from-home arrangements will be lifted or relaxed. But we do know that things will go back to normal eventually, so when you hit those low points, remember that the situation you're stuck in right now is by no means permanent, and that things will get better -- across the board.
Some people love working from home, and it's OK if you're not one of them. Be kind to yourself in the coming weeks, and use these tips to make a difficult period just a bit easier on yourself.