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Because of the pandemic, a lot of you have been forced to set up home offices. Luckily, these work-from-home tips for women will serve as basic guidelines to maintain your health and sanity while being productive.
I understand that most of you are accustomed to working in traditional offices. You’ve been asked to quickly adapt to a different work structure. Must be strange and frustrating!
Seeing as this is a big change, you may need time to adjust to a new work environment and can’t expect to be productive right away.
Plus, if you belong to countries like Pakistan and India where joint-family systems are popular, it’s even more tricky to find the time and peace to focus on your work.
But don’t worry. I’m here to guide you during these tough times.
In this blog, I’ve compiled a list of 25 effective work-from-home tips for women who are trying to adapt to this new norm.
- Biggest Challenges of WFH Women
- Summary of My Findings
- My Work-From-Home Experience
- 25 Tips for Women Working from Home
- 1. Establish a Designated Area as Your Workspace
- 2. Decorate and Organize Everything
- 3. Place a Hand Sanitizer on Your Desk
- 4. Clean and Declutter Your Desk Daily
- 5. Buy Appropriate Furniture & Accessories
- 6. Stock Up on Useful Stationery
- 7. Buy Necessary Devices
- 8. Have Back-up Electronics Ready
- 9. Create a Work Playlist
- 10. Download Organizing Apps
- 11. Download a Time-tracking App
- 12. Install Collaboration and Communication Apps
- 13. Install Digital Notepads
- 14. Grab a Manual Planner
- 15. Begin Your Day With a Morning Ritual
- 16. List Down All Your Goals Before Work
- 17. Keep a Water Bottle Near You
- 18. Learn to Deal With Your Hunger Pangs
- 19. Turn Off Notifications While Working
- 20. Find Ways to Handle Your Kids
- 21. List Down Family FAQs
- 22. Learn to Manage Your Time
- 23. Get Up and Get Active for a While
- 24. Establish a Rigid After-work Communication Policy
- 25. Follow a Daily Self-care Routine After Work
Biggest Challenges of WFH Women
Every country has a unique living style and work culture. However, despite our cultural and societal differences, the problems faced by women working from home are quite similar.
In order to truly understand the biggest struggles of women who have set up home offices, I conducted a small survey. I reached out to women from around the globe and inquired about the challenges they face during remote work.
This research gave me deeper insights into the problems faced by women during this transition.
I learned that demographics don’t matter. Working from home is NOT EASY for women. It requires plenty of patience, excellent communication skills, and strong willpower to not pull your hair by the end of the day.
90 women from across the world participated in this short survey. Here’s an overview of what I discovered:
|Problems faced by women||% of women facing the issue|
|Frequent distractions (family)||39.2|
|Frequent distractions (internet browsing, notifications)||19.3|
|Health issues (back pain, stiffness etc)||9.65|
|Detaching from work after hours||7.95|
|Unable to plan or follow-through on goals||4.54|
|Setting up workspace||2.72|
|Difficulty using apps and tools for remote work||1.7|
|Difficulty adjusting to WFH style||0.56|
|Having no backup (power, internet etc)||0.56|
Summary of My Findings
My Work-From-Home Experience
You must be wondering what makes me qualified enough to give you a whole bunch of work-from-home tips.
Although I started my first un-paid writing gig during university life, now for the past 6 years, I’ve been working from home professionally.
But it’s not like I have no idea of office-based jobs at all. 2016 for me was all about getting out of my comfort zone and working in an office. On one hand, I met some amazing people, had great discussions at lunch, and learned unique life lessons.
On the other, it wasn’t a joyful ride, particularly because of their rigid and unnecessary restrictions which compelled me to quit after just 6 months.
In short, a work-from-home lifestyle has always suited me. I’m more productive in a flexible environment — something essential in jobs that demand creativity.
Here’s an overview of past accomplishments while working from home:
- Article writer, graphic designer, and a news reporter for a local online e-mag from 2012 to 2014
- Freelance writer, both as a part of teams and individually
- Remote editor in chief for almost 2 years, during which I had to manage and train up to 17 writers at a time, besides focusing on other job responsibilities
- Briefly took up freelance writing again, along-side a full-time remote job
- Completed several specialization courses and certifications while earning
- Began my blog biz Women Health Hub in 2019
The reason why I’ve shared this is to tell you that it’s possible to have an amazing career and memorable experiences even with a home office.
You can do this by applying my techniques to strike a balance between your home and work life.
These special work-from-home tips for women will help you stay sane and healthy without compromising your job or personal life.
Let’s get started.
25 Tips for Women Working from Home
1. Establish a Designated Area as Your Workspace
The first work-from-home tip I have for you is how to create your workspace.
Here are a few pointers to find a good spot in your home to set up your office.
- Various shades of blue
- Pastel colors
If you’re living in an apartment with your family, I’d recommend choosing a part of your room as your work territory.
Make it your private office region. Your family, especially kids should know that it’s an off-limits area, simply to protect your notes and files from accidental damage.
2. Decorate and Organize Everything
Next work-from-home tip for women is to focus on workspace decoration. Now, this is where you tap into your creative side and find stuff that inspires and motivates you.
You can add inspirational quotes by authors, leaders of your industry or famous celebs. Some even like to add paintings or funny one-liners to lift their spirits.
Or you can go all DIY and put your artwork on display.
I’m not that big on wall decor; however, I did buy this DIY Quote Frame, where I add my mantra of the month or weekly positive affirmations.
Secondly, organizing is everything. A cluttered workplace will be distracting and unhygienic. Plus, you’ll often search for stuff like corporate papers and pens, but not find any at the time of need.
Make sure you have enough cabinets, drawers, folders, pen holders, and shelves to keep your stuff in the right places.
You can also take a look at this article explaining practical ways to organize your home office.
3. Place a Hand Sanitizer on Your Desk
Without proper hygiene, there’s no health. And without it, how will you continue doing your best?
I’m sure you already know by now that coronavirus spreads primarily through contact — from person to person or person to object.
Often during work, you may touch a contaminated accessory or person. For eg, someone went out for grocery shopping, probably touched a surface affected with virus and brought the germs home.
Although WHO (World Health Organization) recommends washing your hands to clean off corona residue, we all know it’s a hassle taking trips to the bathroom mid-work.
Therefore, I’d strongly suggest having a hand sanitizer on your desk at all times. Clean your hands once every hour or as needed.
Here are my recommendations (affiliate links); both products have ample alcohol to kill germs and compounds to resist skin irritation:
4. Clean and Declutter Your Desk Daily
Speaking of hygiene, you must disinfect your desk every morning before work.
This is a necessary practice because humans unintentionally touch their faces while working many times, one of the main causes of coronavirus infection.
But before cleaning, you’d have to declutter your workspace. That’s when your organizing skills come into action.
Make sure you put everything at the designated place. Get color-coded folders for your important papers. Use printed labels to name the boxes and files to reduce confusion.
My desk is often cluttered in the morning. I am pretty tired after work to clean up. So the first thing I do before sitting down is to clear the mess and put everything in place.
Next, I spend at least 15 minutes on disinfecting everything. I have a spare spray bottle filled up with a branded disinfecting solution and separate dusting/cleaning cloths for wiping off the electronic gadgets and desk.
You can also use disinfecting wipes or DIY an alcohol-based solution to clean your items.
Here is a detailed article explaining how to clean and disinfect your workspace.
5. Buy Appropriate Furniture & Accessories
Besides buying storage items, you should also invest in a good work desk and chair.
For about 4 years, my workspace consisted of a small study table fashioned to a desk and an old squeaky chair with no armrests. It sucked, you guys!
I was always frustrated because of lack of space and my back hurt like hell on that bloody chair!
So, after working for a while, I used my savings to buy proper furniture. Here’s what I invested in:
Yes, I invested more in the chair than the desk! Can’t put a price tag on your health, y’all.
If you’re looking for recommendations, here are some affordable workspace furniture pieces for working women (affiliate links):
- Joiscope office desk with shelves
- Greenforest Computer Desk for Work
- Orveay Ergonomic Office Chair
- AmazonBasics Store Low Back Office Chair
- Modvel Memory Foam Seat Cushion
6. Stock Up on Useful Stationery
Another important work-from-home tip for you is to always keep useful stationery on your desk.
I understand that in offices, it’s mostly taken care of. However, while working from home, you cannot afford to lose pens or dig around for spare paper during a meeting with a client.
Therefore, I suggest stocking up on the following supplies during the last week of every month to avoid any problems.
Here’s what you should have with you at all times:
- Table or wall calendar
- Notebooks, diaries, planners, notepads
- Ballpoint pens, gel pens, pointers (black, blue, colored)
- Pencils, erasers, sharpeners
I know we’re living in a digital era, but there’s something really soothing about noting down stuff manually. Here’s a peek of my table calendar.
7. Buy Necessary Devices
Another work-from-home tip for women setting up a home office is to purchase the best devices for work to avoid headaches.
I was initially using a 10-year old laptop with a sucky battery for freelancing. Lost many files and even clients because of it. Plus, I couldn’t get essential software or apps on that old model.
As soon as I had saved up some money, I got a proper laptop with enough storage, good resolution, and long battery time at an affordable price.
[Funny story — got scammed big time because it turned out to be a refurbished laptop. Only lasted for 2 years and had to buy a new one again!🤦♀️]
Before buying a laptop, first, make a list of the features you’d need based on your job requirements.
For example, programmers and online tutors have varying focuses when purchasing a laptop. Similarly, virtual assistants need different devices than designers.
Go through the pros and cons of your final choices with experts before the decision.
Another important gadget I’d recommend is noise-canceling headphones. This game-changing purchase will help you if:
Like the name suggests, noise-canceling headphones or earbuds eliminate the unnecessary background sounds and noises that otherwise might be distracting.
You can then put on some of your favorite songs or ambiance tracks (or nothing at all) to improve your concentration.
Here are a few recommendations (affiliate links):
8. Have Back-up Electronics Ready
This is one of the biggest rookie mistakes of people who are new to this whole WFH lifestyle — not having backups.
When you’re working from home, things happen. It’s possible to face a sudden power failure or maybe your laptop suddenly starts acting up. You may lose your headphones before an important meeting or your speaker dies.
You can’t always have everything under control and functional 100%. So, the best thing you can do is to get a spare for everything important.
Now, what do I mean by that?
Well, let’s say you have WiFi broadband installed at your home. Due to some reason, it stops working. Do you simply give up and call it a day? Nah! Use your backup internet to keep continuing your task.
My backup internet is 4G LTE provided by my cellular network service. I strictly use it in case of emergencies.
Similarly, I bought a tablet to replace the laptop in case things go wrong again. Also invested in a spare pair of earphones.
To cut short, you need a back-up for every electronic device you rely on. From cellphones to batteries and from power supply to the internet, you must have an extra for anything that may affect your work.
Here are a few general things that I’d recommend getting a reserve for:
- Batteries for your devices
- If you use device storage, use a cloud service (such as Google Drive or Dropbox) for essential documents
- Camera (in case you rely on photography)
9. Create a Work Playlist
Another super effective work-from-home tip for women is to choose particular music tracks for office hours.
Some people love working in a quiet and soundless environment. However, studies show that people with creative jobs experience increased productivity and performance if they use an ambiance track, a work playlist or noise.
Additionally, experts say that listening to music while working also promotes better problem-solving skills.
Talk about cool psychological hacks!
Here’s what you need to know about popular music tips to work from home efficiently:
Using it seems counterintuitive, but pink noise is basically a static background sound with high frequency and pitch. An example is the sound of a waterfall.
Pink noise is useful in drowning surrounding noises and enhances your focus. It keeps you alert and helps you relax as well.
There are other types too such as brown noise and white noise but I’ve found pink noise to be more effective.
Here are some recommendations:
Now before you go on adding your favorite Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Eminem and other tracks to your playlist, hear me out.
Experts agree that you should never listen to your favorite fun songs, especially those with vocals. The reason is that you’d easily get distracted, start singing or tapping your feet within no time. Next thing you know, you’re browsing their latest songs and texting your friend about it.
What you should do instead is go for a new ‘chill mix’ every time you’re in the mood for a background track.
Chill-out is a music genre with ambiance tracks that are easy to listen to and ideal for relaxation. Initially, this was the kind of music you’d listen to in a resort or hotel lounge.
However, it has now evolved to include more upbeat and inspiring music for workouts, students, and office workers.
Here are my favorite chill mixes:
Another trick is to choose ONE or TWO really good songs that make your creative juices flowing and stick to them. Form a bond and a promise to these songs: you won’t pick up your phone or do anything remotely “fun” while listening to these tracks. Only then, you can expect these tracks to work their magic.
Here are some of my special work-only tracks:
Contrary to background noise, ambiance is not a masking sound but rather a recreation of a specific surrounding that helps you concentrate.
For example, I love all kinds of water-related sounds — waterfalls, rivers, rainfall, etc. I aim to recreate nature or the countryside.
For you, it could be something else. People who are missing their office environment can choose office ambiance or a busy coffee shop to use as a background track.
Many apps out there allow mixing different types of sounds and create a whole new ambiance — such as a combination of birds singing, police sirens, rainfall, and heavy traffic!
Atmosphere is my go-to FREE ambiance app. It’s versatile and includes 70 unique ambient sounds to choose from.
10. Download Organizing Apps
So far we have covered setting up the right environment for work. But what about organizing your projects for successful completion?
When you’re working on a company device, they usually have the necessary tools ready for use. However, when you are working from home, you may need to find apps on your own to organize your office stuff.
Following are some of the essential organizing apps that you’d find useful:
Goal #1: Planning and organizing
While many of you must be old school like me and prefer manually writing down what you wish to accomplish daily, the rest would want to use an app. Here are a few recommended apps that I’ve tried myself:
- Clickup: Free tool, available for various operating systems, best choice for anyone who needs such app for individual use
- Monday.com: Paid tool, excellent organizing features, better suited for enterprises
- Google Calendar: Free tool, best for noting down your day to day tasks and events
Goal #2: Creating documents
I know a lot of you might prefer MS Word, Presentation, and Excel for writing, making presentations, or developing spreadsheets. But I’d highly recommend switching to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets instead, for the following benefits:
- If you’re online, the data syncs automatically
- Better features, less buggy
- Complete online storage
- Saves history to revisit or restore previous versions
- Option to download files in multiple formats
- Better suited for real-time collaboration
Goal #3: Social media
Here are some apps if you’re responsible for designing social media graphics, videos, and scheduling. All of them have paid versions with more features.
- Canva: The best free designing app to make many kinds of graphics, videos, presentations etc.
- Headliner: Versatile tool for making promotional videos, allows 10 videos per month on the free plan
- Hootsuite: Free tool for social media posts scheduling, allows multiple profiles but limited monthly posts
- Buffer: Free app for social media posts scheduling, allows only 3 profiles at a time
Goal #4: Files storage
Development and creation is just half of the important work. What about saving those files?
Usually, you may want to save everything on your device. But laptops and computer storage is limited and not reliable. In case of a virus or sudden power outage, you may lose your documents at the time of submission.
The following cloud storage services are free for individual uses but also offer paid versions for companies/enterprises:
Tips on how to familiarize with apps and tools:
Here are a few key work-from-home tips for women using remote apps and tools for the first time:
11. Download a Time-tracking App
Some of you may be asked to develop a timeline of how much time you spent on a specific task. Others may request you to simply note down work hours and explain how much you accomplished throughout the day.
I would straightaway name Toggl as the best time tracking app. It works in the background offline so you wouldn’t have to manually switch it on or off unless when you start a project.
My most favorite feature is that it also notes down the inactive time, which is perfect if you wish to get a better idea of how productive you’ve been.
Toggl is free to use but does come with a paid version for teams.
12. Install Collaboration and Communication Apps
Another important work-from-home tip is to focus on ways to promote flawless communication during remote work.
If you have many colleagues, you must have the best communication and collaboration tools on all your devices for seamless contact. Otherwise, it leads to several complications and causes more stress.
Here are some other tools to enhance your communication with colleagues:
- Slack: Most popular choice for teams, elegant and easy to use
- Discord: Sophisticated design, more versatile and better features
- Zoom: Free to use, best suited for short training, webinars, and meetings
- Google Meet: Remarkable call and video quality but better suited for enterprises with more than 30 employees because of pricing
If you need momentary access to a remote desktop for training or such, I’d recommend installing Teamviewer — a free + paid remote working tool used for desktop and screen sharing, meetings, as well as transferring files.
Tips to ensure uninterrupted remote communication:
As this is another issue I came across while talking to women new to WFH lifestyle, here are some ways you can improve remote conversations:
13. Install Digital Notepads
Previously I did mention Google documents as the primary writing app. But it’s better suited for long documents such as articles, essays, memos or other office docs.
If you wish to use other apps instead of notepads, here are two of my personal favorites:
- Any.do: Simple and elegant design, syncs across all devices
- Evernote: More sophisticated and better features, can be used for long notes, syncs across all devices
14. Grab a Manual Planner
Another work-from-home tip from me is to invest in a manual planner or diary, even if you rely mostly on digital organizing apps.
If you’re old school like me, you’d want to plan out your daily, weekly and monthly goals early on. Buying a new planner would get you in the work spirit and make you more committed toward your goals.
You may think it’s a waste of money but trust me, a few indulgences like these actually send out positive vibes and make you more motivated.
At this point when times are tough, we are all seeking sources of positivity and inspiration. Such investments will help you find your way through the chaotic life and boost your energy and confidence.
Plus, sketching out your monthly activities benefit you in the long run. If you’re dealing with multiple responsibilities such as family, home, outdoors, health and job, it’s best to write down the basic stuff in a planner.
For example, you could start with noting down the following activities:
Writing down everything beforehand is crucial to balance your personal and work life properly.
So go ahead, buy yourself a nice planner and start writing what you wish to accomplish throughout the month.
15. Begin Your Day With a Morning Ritual
A big problem for women working from home is getting into a proper routine. One trick is to set specific times for daily activities.
For example, many women find it useful to wake-up, eat, and sit to work at a particular time daily. Others say that getting dressed also helps them take their remote job as seriously as they were physically present in an office.
However, I’d recommend trying a morning ritual to ensure your mind, body, and soul are in sync before you sit down to work. Let me explain how having a regular morning ritual is a much better choice.
- Routine: A routine refers to any activity that you perform regularly, as a chore. It has no significant emotional value or benefit. For example, waking up at the same time every day, eating something, going to work. This is a routine.
- Ritual: Rituals have a significant emotional value as they are performed meaningfully. They are related to a bigger purpose such as good health or better performance.
Now that you know the difference between routine vs ritual, you can see why having a regular ritual could be more beneficial to you than a routine.
I’m not saying routines aren’t helpful; they are. Having a schedule is necessary so your life is more organized. Spontaneity leads to chaos in the long run.
However, rituals are more purpose- and goal-oriented. For example, here is my morning ritual:
After waking up, I write down around one page on what’s going on in my mind. Every bad stuff, negativity, anxious thoughts, along with the good and positive thoughts such as gratitude or what I aim to accomplish goes down in this braindump exercise.
Focus is more on quantity than quality. Hence, the purpose is to achieve relaxation and mental clarity before starting work for enhanced productivity.
Next thing I do is perform a 3-minute yoga sequence. It includes 6 different poses that promote better circulation, reduce anxiety, improve body mechanism, release muscle tension and help visualize my day ahead.
The purpose of this ritual is to enhance my physical and mental wellbeing at the start of the day.
Honestly, I can’t function properly without putting some solid food inside. So my last daily morning ritual is to eat a healthy breakfast. The purpose is to give my body an energy boost and get a dose of essential nutrients before work.
As you can see, the main reason behind rituals is to follow a practice that eventually benefits your health, wellbeing, and purpose in the long run. They offer you peace of mind, decrease stress, and give you more control over your actions and emotions.
Develop a morning ritual with healthy activities to elevate and synchronize your mind and body before you sit down to work. This will also improve your focus and make you more productive.
16. List Down All Your Goals Before Work
According to my research, another big issue for women is the lack of motivation and the inability to stick to goals. That’s mainly because we don’t know the tricks to establish proper goals and follow-through on them.
Here are few tips on how to set work goals that you’ll actually stick to:
Tip #1: Make SMART goals:
For starters, each of your goals must be SMART. These types of goals are not only easier to follow but give you a clear idea of the process rather than just the outcome.
Let’s say you have to send out 10 emails to 10 different clients. Here’s how your SMART goal would look like:
Send 3 emails in the morning (9am to 11am), 3 in the afternoon (12pm to 2pm), and 4 in the evening (4pm to 6pm).
As you can see, this goal contains every aspect of a SMART goal — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.
Breaking your goal into short milestones is a great way to remain motivated and productive throughout the day, especially while working from home. Also, this way better than a vague line like “Send 10 emails today.”
Related: How to Make the Perfect Health Goals
Tip #2: Stick to only a few goals per day:
Another important thing you should do is to select only a few important tasks daily. Overworking only causes more stress and that’s not helpful.
Be as realistic as you can about what you can accomplish in a day. I know our instinct (and deep desire) is to finish 10 goals like a pro every day.
But hey, your mind can only take so much. Plus, while working from home, you have to tend to other stuff as well, such as chores and family. And how can I forget “taking care of yourself!”
Ideally, stick to a maximum of 5 goals in a day.
Believe me, it may seem small but at the end of the day, you’d feel you’ve accomplished a lot. And, you’ll be able to give your 100% to each task without compromising your health or sanity.
Tip #3: Include one big and several small goals:
This is a trick I’ve used for quite a while and it works wonders.
Make sure your day is balanced with both big and small tasks. It’s humanly impossible to accomplish several important goals successfully in one day.
Most times, it not only results in a lack of quality but also causes anxiety, lack of hunger, or maybe even binge eating.
My suggestion is to include ONE important goal per day. Then, select up to 3 or 4 less important tasks/milestones that don’t require much effort on your part.
This way, if you ever get tired of accomplishing that ONE goal, you can switch to the other tasks to ease your mind.
A good way to always remain busy and avoid unproductivity, right?
17. Keep a Water Bottle Near You
If you think you can keep working hard and do your best without properly hydrating yourself, well, think again!
According to a study, even a 1% drop in hydration can lead to a 12% decrease in productivity. Of course, if you’re 4% dehydrated, the lack of productivity triples.
Check out the infographic here if you wish to learn more about how dehydration and productivity are related.
I learned the significance of drinking water often the hard way. My family has a history of kidney diseases which is why I always have a water bottle on my desk. Can’t put my kidneys at risk for work!
Besides, dehydration weakens your mind and affects concentration. You’d easily feel too lethargic to perform well. Don’t be afraid of bathroom breaks — that won’t break your tempo!
In fact, urination is necessary to get rid of toxins and avoid stones build-up.
Download Water Reminder app to remind you to drink water often throughout the day.
I also suggest you buy one of these new pretty bottles (affiliate links) to trick your mind into drinking more water. 😉
- Sunwill Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Takeya Water Bottle with Straw
- Vmini Gradient Water Bottle with Handle + Straw
18. Learn to Deal With Your Hunger Pangs
While talking to some of my survey participants, I learned many women working from home experience sudden binge eating bouts.
When I was new to this lifestyle, the same happened to me. It’s easy to grab a snack and eat up in PJs when you’re at home with a laptop plopped in front of you. A few minutes later, you’ll even find yourself Netflixing your fav movie.
But I soon found a way to satiate my hunger AND eat healthy at the same time. Here are a few ways you can control your appetite:
Tip #1: Stop buying tons of junk food
First thing, I stopped buying lots of junk food. Out of sight, out of mind, amirite?
Buying only a limited number of junk food for the week helped me deal with the unnecessary hunger pangs. The initial weeks were tough, no doubt. But by the end of the month, I had no cravings during work!
Tip #2:Eat a proper breakfast
Second important advice is to eat a full healthy breakfast every morning.
The last meal you eat is at night — about 12 hours before breakfast. So it’s natural for your body to demand nutrition as soon as you wake up.
I understand many of you may be following intermittent fasting or other dietary styles. No matter when you eat breakfast, make sure you’re eating something before sitting down to work.
I would also suggest eating a full breakfast including various food groups such as fruits, dairy, protein, and good carbs to give your body a superb energy boost for the day ahead.
Tip #3:Place a healthy snack jar on your desk
My final work-from-home tip for dealing with hunger bouts is to place a healthy snack jar on your desk.
You can either make your own trail mix with nuts and seeds or buy some pre-made packets. Seeds and nuts are a great source of healthy fats and give your body immense nutritious compounds. Eating a few of these snacks doesn’t lead to obesity.
Also, seeing as these are somewhat heavier foods, they tend to curb your appetite for a while rather than make you hungry after a few minutes again.
In other words, if you eat healthy snacks, you’re good for a few hours or until your next meal.
19. Turn Off Notifications While Working
Another challenge in the WFH lifestyle is getting distracted by digital notifications or browsing unnecessarily on social media.
Being a big fan of web browsing, I cannot tell you how much I’ve suffered because of my net surfing habit. Used to waste hours of precious time scrolling and jumping from site to site.
But then, I set out to fix this habit. Here are some useful tips for women working from home to reduce digital distractions.
I would also recommend installing a desktop app called Station. It’s a simple workspace integrating various apps on one platform. You can find business, legal, design, social media, storage, admin, developer and coding, sourcing, HR, sales, and blogging tools here, among others.
The best part is that Station is completely FREE to download and even has a turn off notifications option. So you can work on your tasks in peace without any distractions.
20. Find Ways to Handle Your Kids
As you can see from the survey statistics I shared above, the majority of women consider family and kids as the biggest source of distraction that keeps them from maintaining focus while working from home.
While it’s certainly tricky to manage infants and toddlers, preteens are easier to deal with. Here are some work-from-home tips for mommies:
If you have a newborn or a baby just a few months old, I honestly applaud you for finding the time and energy to focus on your job. Bravo!
Truth is, with a baby at home, there’s no way you can’t get around the distractions. You’d often have to get up to change the diaper or for feeding.
However, I would suggest using your little angel’s naptime to your benefit. Get as much work done as you can during these hours (or minutes).
Another thing you can do is to wake up way early in the morning, while everyone’s asleep and get some office work done during the wee hours of the day.
But of course, this tip is practical only if you have flexible timings and can schedule your sleep some other time.
Dealing with toddlers is particularly difficult. The only way you can make a toddler sit is by offering them an interesting and entertaining activity.
Watching tv or playing video games is okay for an hour, at most. So what else can you do to entertain your toddlers for hours?
- Buy puzzles (check out some options here)
- Put on educational movies during your work hours
- Set up a different “workspace” for them
- Buy playdough and give them related “assignments” to keep ‘em busy
- Set up an art zone; buy paints and coloring books for them
If you work in a separate room and have a particularly difficult task or meeting to attend to, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your door handle.
If you work in let’s say the living room or family room, then you need another conspicuous sign to let your preteens know that you’re busy with something important.
For instance, you could wear a special jacket or scarf at such times to signal that you can’t be disturbed.
Read this interesting article by a work-from-home mommy sharing tips on how to tackle your work with kids.
21. List Down Family FAQs
This is another work-from-tip for mommies who frequently have to answer somewhat irritating questions every few minutes, like:
- What’s for dinner?
- Where’s the cookie jar?
- Where are my socks?
- Can I skip bath today?
- Who has to wash the dishes today?
Or something else, you get the picture.
I would suggest making a list of questions and answers for your family before sitting down to work.
List down all FAQs that your kids or spouse may ask you to reduce distractions. Paste it either outside your home-office door or where everyone can see, such as the refrigerator door.
This will help you concentrate better and not get annoyed every few minutes.
22. Learn to Manage Your Time
Usually, there are 2 different types of schedules depending on the nature of your job.
- Flexible work hours: This applies to individuals with their own business, freelancers, or if you’re working for a company that allows flexible timings.
- Fixed work hours: Most companies offering remote opportunities require you to be active within a specific time slot. Especially in case you attend meetings with clients. Similarly, if you’re a trainer or teacher, you’d have to stick to a certain time.
Dividing your shifts throughout the day is a practical way to deal with timing issues. You can break down your hours into different slots during morning, afternoon, evening, or late night, depending on your routine.
Let’s say your job requires you to be active from 9am to 5pm. For women with kids or other responsibilities, especially during these days, this is not an ideal time to sit and focus on your office tasks.
So what if you could break your shift to any of the following slots:
- 9am to 11am; 2pm to 5pm; 10pm to 1am
- 9am to 10am; 1pm to 3pm; 5pm to 7pm; 9pm to 12am
- 9am to 12pm; 3pm to 6pm; 9pm to 12am
This way, you’re always available for a brief period during the necessary hours and can accomplish other tasks at times of your choice. Of course, these are just examples. You can adjust the hours per your availability.
I believe this is a better option than being unable to concentrate properly or entirely unavailable.
So make sure you communicate this possibility to your employer. Most companies will be okay with this proposition considering you have a family or kids to look after.
23. Get Up and Get Active for a While
My research showed women don’t like sitting in one place for a long time. As a result of sitting for hours, most people develop…
- Upper and lower back pain
- Neck sprain
- Wrist injury, numbness, and tingling
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases
- Digestive problems such as constipation because of lack of movement
- Muscle stiffness
- Sore hips
- Knee pain
Besides these physical health problems, women in sedentary jobs also have a severe risk of mental wellness issues such as increased depression, stress, and anxiety.
In short, taking breaks for physical activity is extremely necessary. Especially if you have a desk job that requires you to sit in the same spot for a long time.
Here are some work-from-home tips to help you achieve the health balance you seek:
24. Establish a Rigid After-work Communication Policy
This is one of the most important issues I wanted to discuss with you.
During my survey, many women working from home told me how difficult it was for them to detach from work after hours.
Let me tell you something, ladies. You may disagree, but I can say this with certainty that 95% of the time the task you’ve been asked to finish ASAP is not really an “emergency.”
Sadly, most employers are in the habit of saying this because well, there’s a lack of empathy and compassion.
At my last job, I was the department head, and everyone at my company had flexible work hours. Yeah, it was fun for many but for department heads, that means being available other than the work hours to deal with the top management and the team members.
So, I had to set some ground rules for communication. I was flexible but not too much, just for the sake of my health and sanity.
I quickly learned to analyze which tasks were urgent and which weren’t. If I didn’t want to be disturbed after work, how could I let my team sacrifice their family time?
Here are some work-from-home tips to help you detach after hours and not get swallowed in that never-ending work-work-work loop:
Tip #1: Discuss after-work policies before joining
Before joining a company or working for a client in case you’re freelancing, ask about the after-hours work policy.
- Are they the sort of person who’d ask you to edit a project at any time they want?
- Are they open to paying over-time for the extra hours?
- Are they willing to delay projects in case of emergencies at your end?
Asking the right questions can prevent you from being forced to work at ungodly hours and sacrifice your health and wellbeing.
Tip #2:Set strict rules for after-work communication
Whether you are a team member, a department head, or belong to the top-most management, you should be clear about your own after-hours policy.
Let your colleagues or clients know which times you’re available for communication and when you aren’t. In case of emergencies, ask them to send you a text first instead of a call without a heads up. That’s just unprofessional!
Tip #3: No extra tasks on weekends
At another previous job, most of my colleagues were in the habit of working from home during weekends. On the other hand, after all the hard work during weekdays at the office, I wasn’t going to sacrifice my weekends too.
So, I informed my employers in the first few weeks that working from home on weekends was not a possibility for me. I needed a break and weekends were meant for relaxation. They acknowledged and never asked me to do any urgent tasks from home.
Just like me, let your bosses know beforehand if you’re unable to do tasks on weekends. This would prevent any future complications and drama.
Tip #4: Always ask if it can wait
If someone’s asking you to complete a task ASAP after work hours, the first thing to do is figure out how urgent it is.
In case it’s a previous project, you’d already know if it’s too urgent or not. If it’s a new task, you should always ask if it’s a possibility to wait till morning. Most of the time, it can wait.
Also, note whether this happens frequently with you or not. Does your employer often label tasks as “urgent?” Do they continue working on it for weeks later? If yes, high chance that they’re habitually crying wolf.
Tip #5: If you’re tired, let them know
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be honest. If you don’t think you can give your 100% to an urgent yet necessary task, let your employers know. Messing up an important task is worse than delaying it for a few hours.
If it’s too urgent, you can ask them to give you some time to rest. After giving your mind a break, you’d feel energized and can accomplish the project without making any mistakes.
25. Follow a Daily Self-care Routine After Work
I cannot emphasize enough on this one work-from-home tip for women — SELF-CARE.
If you don’t have a self-care routine yet, you’re putting yourself under severe health and wellness risk. You’re not giving your mind and body a chance to relax and take a break from literally everything that’s going on around you.
What do you do solely for yourself after a long winding day? Do you have any hobbies or activities that help you relax?
Here are some ideas for you to begin a self-care ritual or routine for post-work-hours:
I hope you find this extensive list of 25 effective work-from-home tips.
I’ll help you out as much as I can. 💕
Till then, take care and stay safe!