7 Easy Strategies to Stay Sane While Working From Home

Millions of Americans work from home on a part- or full-time basis.

Not all enjoy it. Indeed, every year, many thousands abandon full-time at-home work and return to traditional office jobs.

Is there anything that you can do to avoid that dreaded fate? Actually, yes. Internalizing these seven strategies to stay sane in your home office would be a great start.

1. Take Very Short Breaks Throughout the Day

A recent study finds that the ideal work-break cycle alternates precisely 52 hours of work with 17 minutes of downtime. Unfortunately, most professionals don’t have the luxury of taking one minute off for every three worked. Five minutes every hour is a more realistic goal. Use the downtime to take a bathroom break, do some dusting, walk the dog, or simply pace your house.

2. Choose a Social Work-at-Home Opportunity That Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Want to love what you do and avoid the stultifying solo existence endured by many at-home workers? Consider a social work-at-home opportunity like fundraising distribution, wherein you help charities and school groups raise funds for worthy causes. Research conducted by ABC Fundraising shows full-time fundraising distributors can earn $5,000 or more each month working full-time from home.

3. Take a Long Lunch (Really)

Don’t merely linger over your ham sandwich. Instead, incorporate an errand or trip to the gym into your extended break. Ninety minutes off during the middle of the workday is a rare opportunity to reset — one you won’t get in a traditional office setting. 

4. Spruce Up Your Home Office (Literally)

Your home office only has room for a miniature spruce, no doubt, but you get the idea. A houseplant or wall painting will do wonders for your mood. So will a bird feeder right outside your office window.

5. Set Up a Digital Water Cooler

Mixing social media and work is always dangerous, but what about more controlled digital environments? Consider setting up a dedicated Slack channel where work-related discussion is banned for your remote colleagues or project collaborators.

6. Confab With Other Home Workers

If you lack for regular collaborators, reach out to other independent professionals in your social circle and organize a standing coffee meeting or happy hour. Getting out of the house once per week in the late afternoon is sure to make the workday bearable.

7. Invest in an Adjustable Standing Desk

To sit or stand: that is the question.

Or is it? With an adjustable standing desk, you can do both, with clear ameliorative benefits for your workday disposition (and calorie counting).

Working at Home Is What You Make of It

Longtime work-at-homers know that truer words have rarely been spoken (or written). Those who’ve spent many years in this game know that working at home takes more discipline and poise than office dwellers realize. Not everyone is cut out for the task, as legions of former at-home workers who’ve returned to the cubicle can attest. 

Do you have the mettle of a true work-at-home warrior? Abiding by these seven informal rules could make the difference — and pave the way to a more fulfilling career in the comfort of your own home.

Adam Hansen