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By: Kiyana Neil on August 30th, 2022

How to WFH Better When Work and Home Lives Have Blurred

You may be thinking, “Not another article about working remotely?!” I get it. It seems that articles like these would have lessened three years into the pandemic, and our entire world completely transforming. However, remote work remains a touchy subject for many companies and workers.

When I entered the workforce, a work day resembled the typical 9 AM to 5 PM schedule with a 30-minute to 1-hour lunch break. Then, three years into my full-time career, DemandLab became a fully remote company.

Even with a two-year headstart, I find myself and other WFH-OGs, as I like to call them, still grappling with how to work better from our home offices.

Fortunately, I have a few tips that can help you improve your WFH lifestyle if you’re already working remotely or help those pursuing a remote position know what to consider before accepting a remote job offer.

WFH is not for everyone: determine your working style

It’s important to remember that this style of work is not for everyone. However, now that companies are offering fully remote, partially remote, and 100% office work options, we have some alternatives.

If you are unsure which work style is best for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which work environment allows you to feel most productive?
  • Which work environment better meets your workflow and style?
  • Which work environment allows you to find the most balance in your life?

I’ve found that working from home allows for more flexibility, which is great when we think about all that we have to balance in our lives–family, home, health, etc. It does require a significant amount of self-discipline, though. The key is to reflect on what kind of working style and environment will allow you to flourish fully and grow in your career.

Culture matters: evaluate your current or prospective company’s culture

If you check out our Resource Center, you will find that we write about culture a lot because it’s just that important. I think we all know a person or two (or are the person) who has left a job because of toxic work culture. There is no judgment over here, but how can we prevent this, especially when working remotely?

Take time to explore a prospective employer’s corporate website, social media, and other review sites, and/or try connecting with current employees.

Is the company new to remote work, or have they offered it for a while? What benefits do they have in place to support remote workers? How do employees talk about the company? Do they seem engaged or disengaged?

At DemandLab, we know we’re valued as remote employees because our CEO stresses its importance internally and externally. She and the executive team have introduced new policies and benefits and are constantly evaluating how to support our team better. I mean it–you can see examples here, here, here, and here.

Good culture makes a difference. I encourage you to interview your prospective employer and do your due diligence when researching to find a company whose values and culture align with who you are and what you need both personally and professionally.

Peak productivity: create an intentional workspace

This was one of the most important steps for me when transitioning from the office. I wanted and needed to separate work from home as much as possible.

Given your home size, space, and layout, this may take a bit of manipulation, but I highly encourage you to create a workspace that allows the creative juices to flow. Once you secure your space, fill it with things that will help you stay focused and inspired. For me, this included buying a large desktop screen and hanging a whiteboard for brainstorming and a few pieces of wall art for inspiration.

Make sure your space allows you to maintain peak productivity but also lets you unplug and stay unplugged when it’s time to log off.

Good things take time: make your schedule work for you

Not everyone’s job allows for the flexibility that DemandLab does. I am fortunate to work for a company that prioritizes self-care and well-being over rigid work schedules. Even with such flexibility, making a work schedule that works for both you and your employer is still very important.

What time of day are you most productive? During this time, tackle those big, meaty projects or tasks. Or try to schedule heads-down time when you’re less likely to be distracted.

I meet with my manager regularly, and she encourages me to move my day around as needed to get things done in a way that works for me. This might mean taking a midday walk, working in my outdoor space, or rescheduling non-essential meetings to get ahead on work projects.

WFH really does allow for a good deal of flexibility which we can use to our advantage. But we must still be the managers of our own time and work.

Success is at your fingertips

Remote work isn’t for everyone. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that the WFH life was for me when DemandLab went 100% remote back in 2018. Today, with the tips I’ve listed above, I’ve achieved some true success in my first remote role.

You can check out our DEI and Careers pages if you’re interested in learning more about DemandLab’s culture or current job openings. If you want to chat more about my WFH journey, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (and mention this article).