Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working from home. Whether you\u0026#39;re new to remote work or just looking to improve, these tips from a pro can help you stay productive and stay balanced. As of March 2020, more people than ever were working from home, and quite suddenly. Organizations and individuals have not had time to prepare for remote work or consider how best to transition teams, processes and culture to an online-only environment. No one knew (or does not yet know) how long the COVID-19 pandemic and with it mandatory remote work would last. If you\u0026#39;re new to working from home, whether it\u0026#39;s because of the coronavirus or because you\u0026#39;ve managed to land a remote job, you may have found that in order for work from home to be a success, you need to change your habits and routines becomes. I worked 100 percent from home for more than three years, well before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Some of my friends and colleagues have done it too. Each of us faces unique challenges, not only because of our different personalities, but also because of our different lifestyles and the types of work we do. Still, many of the core issues we face as remote workers are the same. Anyone working remotely needs to figure out when they work, where they work, and how to draw boundaries between work and personal life. What about office equipment, career development, training opportunities and building relationships with colleagues? Remote work, especially if you work from home most of the time, means addressing these and other questions. Here are 10 tips for living a better and more productive remote work life, based on my experience and what I\u0026#39;ve learned from others. Maintain regular hours 1. Maintain regular hours Set a schedule and stick to it... most of the time. Having clear guidelines about when you work and when you call it a day helps many remote workers maintain their work-life balance. However, one of the best benefits of remote work is the flexibility when the job allows it. Sometimes you need to lengthen your day or start earlier to match someone else\u0026#39;s time zone. If this is the case, consider stopping earlier than usual or sleeping a little longer the next morning to compensate. Automated time tracking apps like RescueTime let you check if you\u0026#39;re sticking to your schedule. They can also help you figure out what times of the day you\u0026#39;re most productive and when you\u0026#39;re slack. You can use this information to your advantage by protecting the hours when you are most likely to get difficult tasks done. For example, if you\u0026#39;re most productive between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., you shouldn\u0026#39;t schedule meetings at that time. 2. Create a morning routine Deciding that you will sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that gets you in the chair is another. A routine can be stronger than a clock to help you start each day. What in your morning routine tells you that you\u0026#39;re about to start work? You might make yourself a cup of coffee before completing your to-do list. You might come home or get dressed after your jog. (Wearing pajamas is an advantage when working from home for some, but a bad strategy for others). Find an existing habit, such as brushing your teeth or when you come back from walking the dog, that serves as a signal. That way, you can nail the new habit you start your workday with. I say \u0026quot;morning routine,\u0026quot; but not everyone who works from home follows a nine-to-five plan. Your routine may be an \u0026quot;entry routine\u0026quot; at a different time of the day. Nonetheless, find an existing habit you have and try to start your workday from it. 3. Establish ground rules with the people in your room Establish ground rules with other people who are in your home or who share your space when you work. For example, if you have kids who study at home or come home from school while you\u0026#39;re still working, they need clear rules about what they can and can\u0026#39;t do during that time. If you share a room with another adult who works from home, you may need to negotiate quiet times, meeting times, and shared equipment like tables and chairs. And just because you\u0026#39;re at home and can let housekeepers in or take care of pets doesn\u0026#39;t mean other family members should assume you do it all the time. If you choose to split up the chores like that, that\u0026#39;s fine, but if you just default to everything because you\u0026#39;re home, you can feel taken advantage of and your productivity can suffer. 4. Schedule breaks If you work for an organization, you should know and follow the break policy. If you\u0026#39;re self-employed, you should set aside enough time during the day to get away from your screen and phone. One lunch break and two 15-minute breaks seem to be the standard for full-time employees in the US. For computer based work and other sedentary activities, it\u0026#39;s important to get up and move around to get your circulation going, at least once an hour. Taking your eyes off the screen regularly also helps, even if it\u0026#39;s just a micro-pause of 10-20 seconds. 5. Leaving the house As far as permitted and safe during the pandemic, get out and move your body. Your body needs exercise and blood circulation. The fresh air and natural light will also do you good. Ideally, you should go outside for at least a short time before, during and after your working hours. This advice also applies to people working in traditional office environments. Leave the building at least once a day during working hours. In times when there is no pandemic, remote workers can also go to cafes, libraries and co-working spaces to break up the monotony of being at home. That\u0026#39;s great too, but the really important part is getting out of your home, getting some air and natural light, and getting moving. You don\u0026#39;t have to go to crowded public spaces to get away from your solo workspace (and you probably shouldn\u0026#39;t be doing so right now). take a walk Pull weeds in the garden. Sit on the stairs. you get the picture 6. Don\u0026#39;t hesitate to ask for what you need If you\u0026#39;re employed by a company or organization that supports your homework, you should request the equipment you need as soon as you start working from home, or within a few days of realizing you need something new. It\u0026#39;s very important that you ask early on about the things you need to do your job comfortably. This includes, for example, the right monitor, keyboard, mouse, chair, desk, printer, software and so on. Businesses used to remote workers often budget for home office equipment. Ask what it is and how often it is renewed. It also doesn\u0026#39;t hurt to ask if there\u0026#39;s a loan agreement or who will pay for the return shipping or disposal of obsolete equipment. Some companies offer their employees the opportunity to consult a consultant who will ensure that their workplace is ergonomically designed. If you work from home then it can certainly make sense to order a new ergonomic desk. Our height-adjustable electric desk helps you to avoid tension and back pain. 7. Keep a dedicated office space In an ideal world, remote workers would not only have their own office but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. It\u0026#39;s safer for the employer and lets you do all your NSFW activities in private. But not everyone has a spare room at home to use as an office, and having two computers isn\u0026#39;t always realistic. Instead, you should provide a desk or table and some peripherals that will only be used for work. For example, when your laptop is connected to the monitor and external keyboard, it\u0026#39;s time to work. When he\u0026#39;s on your lap, that\u0026#39;s personal time. You might even want to partition your hard drive and set up a separate user account for work. Even small distinctions between work and free time help your brain know when you\u0026#39;re off and this contributes to a better work-life balance. 8. Use your perks For two years I baked a loaf of bread almost every week. Why? Because I was at home and I could. I love baking bread, but you have to be home to take care of beating the dough, shaping the loaf, and letting it bake once an hour or so. It doesn\u0026#39;t take much time, but you have to be there. When I was a full-time office worker, it was difficult to find half a day to bake when I was at home. Working remotely comes with unique benefits. Use them. You deserve it. 9. Socialize with colleagues Loneliness, isolation, and isolation are common issues in remote work life, especially for extroverts. Companies with a remote working culture usually offer opportunities to socialize. For example, they could have channels on a team messaging app like Slack to talk about mutual interests or set up meetups for people in the same region. Figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Even if you\u0026#39;re very introverted and don\u0026#39;t like socializing, try out a few interactive experiences so you\u0026#39;re familiar with them if you ever decide to do so. Unless you work at a company with a strong remote culture, you may need to be more proactive about nurturing relationships. 10. Keep a separate phone number Set up a phone number that you only use to call colleagues and clients. It doesn\u0026#39;t necessarily have to be a landline or a second cell phone, and you don\u0026#39;t need a SIM card either. It can be a VoIP service, like Google Voice or Skype. Similar to the other tips, having a separate phone number will help you manage your work-life balance.