19 Tested, Real-Life Tips for Working From Home

19 Working from Home Tips

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Daniel Kim Photography/Stocksy

For those of us who don't normally work from home (aka WFH), it can seem like a luxury and way better than being in the office. You don't have to deal with "watercooler talk" or certain coworkers, no one will steal your lunch from the communal fridge, you can wear pajamas if you want to, there's no commute, and you have all your creature comforts at your fingertips. But ask any person who works from home regularly, and they'll tell you that while there are some great things about it, it's not exactly filled with days wearing pajamas, watching Netflix, and checking emails. You've still got to do your job, be productive, and meet whatever deadlines and goals you have.

While not everyone can work from home—it's definitely a privilege that many don't have—if you do find yourself in a remote-work situation, it requires discipline and adapting, especially if you've worked in an office your whole career. So to help, I polled our editors and staff here at THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear—some who actually work from home full-time—to get their best tips.

How to Start the Day

Tip #1 Set a Wake Time-and Stick to It

Working from Home Tips: set a wake tome

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Flashpop/Getty Images

"If I'm working from home, I'll wake up at the same time I would if I were going to work." — Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Senior Market Editor, Who What Wear

Tip  #2 Stick to Your Morning Routine

"I think keeping your morning routine the same as if you were going to leave the house is important. It's so tempting to get super lazy with your daily upkeep and just stay in pj's all day since you might not actually see anyone, but for me, bathing, doing my regular skincare routine, and getting dressed all have a way of adding some much-needed structure to my day. Keeping all these normal practices in place helps to stave off feeling anxious and overwhelmed by keeping this dedicated 'me' time built into my schedule. It also keeps me from rolling out of bed and straight into work, which gets old super fast." — Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor, Who What Wear

Tip #3 Get Ready First Thing in the Morning

Working from Home Tips: get ready first thing in the morning

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Javier Pardina/Stocksy

"I like to get ready for the day first thing in the morning as if I were getting ready to commute into an office. I find that if I don't, I end up waiting until an awkward time late in the morning or afternoon, throwing off my productive schedule." — Bobby Schuessler, Senior Market Editor, Who What Wear

Tip #4 Get Dressed

Working from Home Tips:  get dressed

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Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

"Get dressed every day. And by that, I mean change out of what you slept in at a minimum. I certainly go for comfort (I do not wear jeans when WFH), but putting on some sort of athleisure outfit that doesn't feel like jammies is helpful." — Alyson Stehly, Copy Chief, Who What Wear and THE/THIRTY

Tip #5 Create a Daily Routine

Working from Home Tips: create a daily routine

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Nadine Greeff/Stocksy

"I also find it's helpful to try to still keep a routine. For instance, I pretty much have the same breakfast every morning and try to stick to a regular lunchtime. Otherwise, time can easily slip away when you're busy, and suddenly it's 3 p.m. and you haven't eaten a meal (and potentially have just been snacking on things you can grab quickly from your pantry throughout the day). And I generally keep the same 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours I did when I was in the office. There are exceptions to this of course, and it's really easy to keep working when you're super busy and don't have to commute home, but it's important to set some boundaries." — Stehly

Workspace Tips

Tip #1 Leave Your Bed

Working from home tips: Leave the bed

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Lumina/Stocksy

"Don't work from your bed!" — Michelle Plantan, VP, Social and Innovation, Who What Wear and THE/THIRTY

Tip #2 Create a Workspace

Working from home tips: create a workspace

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Lumina/Stocksy

"Having a dedicated space to work, if possible, is my number one WFH productivity tip. If you can't set up a desk or room that's just for work, work with what you've got. So that might mean clearing clutter from your dining room table during the day so you can focus. I would suggest, at the end of the day, putting away all your work stuff (e.g., put your laptop, keyboard, notebooks, etc., in a work bag) so you keep work and home life separate. Then in the morning, set it back up to make your work station." — Stehly

Tip #3 Set Up a Second Monitor

"As soon as I knew we'd be WFH for a while, I made sure I had my second monitor set up ready to go. If you live in an apartment and/or don't have room for a second monitor, you can usually link it up to your TV to your computer with a long HDMI cable. (This is what I do when working on spreadsheets.) Just be sure it has the right end for your specific laptop port." — Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy, Who What Wear and THE/THIRTY

Tip #4 Let Some Air In

Working from home tips: let fresh air in

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Lumina/Stocksy

"Weather permitting, I'll crack a window for fresh air." — Elovitz

Tip #5 Set the Mood

"I also like to burn a relaxing candle." — Elovitz

Workday and Productivity Tips

19 Working from home tips

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Leah Flores/Stocksy

"I've heard from WFH veterans that you should avoid doing quick household chores during working hours. So no 'Let me just put this load of laundry in,' or 'I'm on my lunch break! I'll just cruise through this sink of dishes quickly.' It's not what you'd be doing if you worked in an office, and it helps create solid boundaries between work time and non-work time. Additionally, most of us are so busy at work that there's actually never a good time to just 'sneak' in that extra bit of housework. We're lucky if we make time to stand up and stretch, so it ends up being frustrating to think you can do both like a multitasking Slacking-and-scrubbing wizard, and it never actually happens." — Kat Collings, Editor in Chief, Who What Wear

Tip #1 Be Mindful of Others in Your Home

Working from home tips: be mindful of others in your home

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Hero Images/Getty Images

"Make sure to coordinate timing for important work calls or video chats with any roommates or partners who are also at home (to control for sound and privacy and also avoid moments like this!)" — Plantan

Tip #2 Take an Actual Lunch Break

Working from home tips: Take an Actual Lunch Break

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Claudia Totir/Getty Images

"Take clear, set breaks throughout the day. I also ensure I take a standard lunch break at noon for 30 minutes to break up the morning and afternoon and allow some time to clear my head." — Schuessler

"Take breaks for proper meals. Do not fall into the trap of a sad desk salad. This is a good excuse to step away from the screen and enjoy your meal." — Elovitz

Tip #3 Wear Blue Light Glasses

"Wearing my 'blue blockers' only at the computer helps me feel like I'm in office mode and focus on the task (aka screen) in front of me." — Elovitz

Tip #4 Go for Walks

Working from home tips: go for walks

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maskot/Getty Images

"Walks are definitely helpful if you live somewhere that's possible. I have a dog who needs a long walk in the morning and one at night, which bookends my day nicely and gives it some structure. We don't have a yard, so she needs to go out regularly throughout the day, which forces me to step away from my computer and take little breaks. For people who don't have dogs, obviously, they can still go for walks, but it's easier to not do when you don't have to, so it might be helpful to set a timer throughout the day as a reminder to get up and walk around." — Stehly

Tip #5 Stock Up on Essentials

"I've found some small tools that have made such a big difference in my workday, the first being compression socks. Believe it or not, wearing compression socks gives me so much energy and keeps the dreaded calf and foot swell at bay. (It's a thing when you work from home since you sit for such long hours.) I also always have a ceremonial-grade matcha powder on hand so that I can make matcha lattes when the afternoon slump hits, and I recently purchased a frother, which is a game changer. I've been spending less money at coffee shops because of it. Last but not least, I've found that my tolerance for uncomfortable clothes is very low when I work from home. Even leggings don't usually make the cut. Stock up on cute sweatpants, and whatever you do, don't stay in your pajamas all day, as you won't be able to shake that groggy feeling." — Allyson Payer, Senior Editor, Who What Wear

19 Working from home tips

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Alto Images/Stocksy

"I've been working from home remotely for four and a half years, so I've certainly learned a lot by trial and error. One of the best things about working from home is that you don't have to spend time and energy commuting, but it's important to set time boundaries so that you don't start working as soon as you wake up and are still working at 8 p.m. and beyond. Trust me—I've fallen into that trap often, and it's not healthy for your mental state." — Payer

Tip #1 Leave the House

Working from home tips: leave the house

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Pablo Rogats Photostream/Getty Images

"One helpful tip I learned from a productivity expert was to signal the end of the workday to your brain (and for some fresh air and a change of scenery), leave your house when you're finished with work. You don't have to really go anywhere, you can just take a walk around your neighborhood. That way, when you come home, it will be like 'coming home' from the office. It stops you from overworking and helps you get into your evening routine." — Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY

Tip #2 Work Out

Working from home tips: work out

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Jayme Burrows/Stocksy

"I'm continuing my weekly workouts at home at the same cadence (but in my living room)." — Eshaghpour

Next: The Room-by-Room Guide to Setting Up a More Productive and Healthier Home