Work from Home is Here to Stay
According to Pew Research, 71% of Americans worked from home during the peak of the COVID pandemic, up from just 20% prior. 54% of Americans want to work from home permanently.
Whether you work from home part time, full time, or are a student studying at home, there are unique challenges to remain productive in this new (for many) environment.
Challenges of Working from Home
Remote workers must figure out where to work, when to work, and how to establish boundaries between their work and personal life.
Working or studying from home has countless pros and cons. For better or for worse, it is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Below we share some of our best tips for staying productive and healthy in this new work and study environment.
Define Your Space and Schedule
Optimize Your Workspace
Whatever you can do to dedicate a distraction-free workspace supports your focus and productivity. If you have a home office or other space, then you’re already ahead of the game. However, many of us are not fortunate enough to have a quiet, dedicated space in our home.
If you enjoy working around other people, join a co-working space or visit a local coffee shop regularly. If you prefer working solo, find a corner of a bedroom, kitchen or basement, and close it off with curtains or dividers.
Wherever you establish your space, leave it behind when the work day is done to create a sense of separation between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’, helping you mentally and emotionally recharge.
Stick to A Schedule
One of the top benefits of working from home is the flexibility and work-life balance. However, that is a double-edged sword.
Establishing boundaries around your schedule helps separate work and personal priorities. Not checking your phone or answering emails before or after a set time is a great step, if possible, with your job. This is less of an issue with school, which rarely has defined after hours requirements. However, the less structured schedule of studying at home introduces other challenges, so defining set times for studying and completing assignments is essential.
Create a standard morning routine for a consistent start to your day. Whether that means a jog, picking up coffee, or getting dressed (or not - working in sweat pants is another perk of working from home).
Time tracking apps like Rescue Time or Harvest Time Tracking are useful to establish and maintain your schedule, goals and productivity.
Use Your Time Off
Take advantage of whatever time off, holidays and other flex time you have from your employer or school. Take sick days when you need them. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you work effectively when not feeling well.
Ensure separation and work-life balance, so when you are in the game, you stay focused, and when you’re not, you disconnect and rest.
Get Enough Rest
According to a recent study from Consumer Reports, 27 percent of U.S. adults said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68 percent—or an estimated 164 million Americans—struggle with sleep at least once a week.
Getting enough sleep is critical to mental health, focus and productivity. Inadequate sleep has significant consequences, negatively affecting concentration, mood, cognition and overall health.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are many approaches to optimizing your sleep - both for falling asleep quickly, sleeping through the night and waking up rested. Check out our recent blog post to find more tips for improving sleep.
A vegan chocolate supplement like The Functional Chocolate Company’s Sleepy Chocolate combines powerful botanicals including chamomile, valerian, passion flower, lavender and lemon balm with the clinically researched benefits of PharmaGaba®, melatonin and magnesium which may help you fall asleep faster and more soundly.
Exercise -- Good For Your Brain And Your Body
While exercise has numerous, obvious physical benefits - improved muscle tone, endurance, weight reduction, etc. -- research suggests that exercise offers numerous benefits for the way we focus, study and work. In addition to the increased energy that comes from regular exercise, studies suggest exercise provides immediate benefits to cognition and attitude.
Beyond the improved mental stamina, memory, creativity, concentration and stress management, exercise also improves mood, which significantly impacts work and school performance.
Whether at the gym, an exercise class or even just a quick stretching session, online workout or neighborhood walk for some fresh air, daily exercise has numerous health benefits.
Balanced Nutrition Includes Diet and Supplements
Establish a Regular Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is key to overall health. Many workers and students struggling with stress and a sense of being overwhelmed miss meals or resort to high calorie, sugary snacks that negatively affect both physical and mental health.
Pre-planning healthy meals at the beginning of the month or week ensures you don’t make poor dietary decisions when tired or overloaded with other concerns. Plus, it’s one less thing to have to think about. These days, there are plenty of options for meal subscriptions and meal planning apps to simplify the planning process.
Dark Chocolate & Supplements
In addition to ensuring a regular, balanced diet, supplements may increase cognitive function, productivity and focus. Many studies show the benefits of chocolate for focus, sleep, exercise and diet.
Botanicals like ginkgo biloba, bacopa, rhodiola and cacao have been used for hundreds of years due to their well known benefits for mental performance, focus, memory and overall cognition.
Chocolate for focus is nothing new. Theobromine, found in dark chocolate, may improve energy, mood and cognitive function.
The Functional Chocolate Company’s Brainy Chocolate for focus pairs the benefits of a formulation of trusted nutraceutical ingredients, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and amino acids with the health and nutrition benefits of dark chocolate, offering a quick, easy and indulgent way to get your head back in the game. It’s a tasty vegan chocolate that works great for focus and concentration.
Figure Out What Works For You
Everyone has different work styles and schedules that work best for them. Experimenting with different approaches and schedules helps dial in your most effective processes. Changing up your routine from time to time also improves your focus and productivity.
There are many apps and other tools that can help with productivity as well. Thunder Reward is a useful app designed to help you understand your learning style, stay focused and reward your productivity.
If you want an extra boost to your work from home productivity, try Brainy Chocolate with fast, free shipping to your front door. A regular subscription keeps your chocolate on autopilot so you have one less thing to think about. Order today!