Like the bag of chips you opened last week but never finished, work from home for many has gotten pretty stale. Lucky for you, there’s a number of things you can do to give you that first day of school feeling again. So let’s fine-tune your home office so it feels a little less like, you know… home.
Picture this, you get up in the morning, make a to go cup of coffee that will be at the perfect temperature by the time you sit down at your desk and then… Traffic. The one true constant in life. Though, death is technically a constant as well, that’s not quite what we’re going for with this list. (However, if that’s what you’re trying to simulate we’d recommend scheduling a lunch meeting with HR.) Your coffee is now cold, your podcast episode has ended and you’re only halfway to the office because there was an accident on your usual route. Even though traffic is terrible, you can’t help but associate it with your morning or evening commute. What you can do is simply line your hallways and areas around your bed with as many boxes, clothes, Legos, and anything that will replicate the sweet feeling of stop and go on the interstate. In no time your day will start off as it usually would going into the office, already ruined.
On the topic of commuting, another simple hack to make it feel like you’re heading into work is every week, throw $30 straight into the garbage. This is a sure-fire way to remind you and your bank account how expensive gas is when you have to drive to the office every day. If you feel like treating yourself to that nice premium gas, toss in an extra $10 once in a while?.
When you finally make it to the office each day, one question usually come to mind: “why is it always so cold in here?” Lucky for you, by setting your home’s AC to a brisk 65 you can without a doubt trick your brain into feeling like you’re back in the old stomping ground. For added immersion, don’t wear a sweater or a blanket to replicate the true feelings of those days your forgot one no matter how many times you remind yourself.
If you have the luxury (or depending on how you’re feeling, curse) of sharing a WFH space with other people, do I have a tip for you. One of the best things about going into the office is the awkward small talk you have with your coworkers. So at least 3 times a day, make a point to go around your home and bring up the weather, the big game last night, or if you’re feeling a little spicy: what you’re going to do after work.
One of the best parts about being in the office is the lack of privacy. And when you do get that slightest bit of it, boom, straight to Facebook/Reddit/YouTube/etc. These moments of chaotic browsing are usually filled with a strange excitement like when you have to sneak a 3rd plate of leftovers at Thanksgiving without anyone noticing. Please tell me no one saw me do this. Suddenly your manager pops up out of nowhere with the footsteps of a ninja. They startle you with a “hey quick question”. Those brief moments where time seems to slow down as you race to alt+tab, or slide the mouse with cat like reflexes back to your excel file, are a rush. “Did she see me on Facebook?” “Am I going to get fired?” “Oh god how long was I actually on Facebook for?” Though you may not be able to replicate the same feeling, it’s imperative that your skills haven’t slipped while working from home. So, a couple times a day put in some practice and see how fast you can change tabs to look like you’re working again. If you share a work space with someone else, feel free to challenge each other. If you ever catch them before they change tabs, email their manager immediately because they should be fired.
For our last trick to make your WFH setup feel less like home, there is one solution that without fail will make you reminiscent of your days back in the office. You’re going to want to go on amazon, sort by office chairs, and find the ones with the lowest ratings on the website. It goes without saying that nothing quite feels like being at your office desk than the squeaky, sagging, shallow support of the chair given to you.
Was there anything we left out on this list? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us some of the things you do to make your home office feel like the good old days.
One can assume that because work isn’t directly tied to your personal life, it might not be important to be happy at your job. It may just be a 9-5, get in, get out, type of relationship. But, being happy at work comes with a number of benefits – for both you and your company.
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