19 Tested, Real-Life Tips for Working From Home


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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


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"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

Tip #3 Get Ready First Thing in the Morning


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"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


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"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


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"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


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

Tip #2 Create a Workspace


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"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

Tip #4 Let Some Air In


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

Tip #5 Set the Mood

Workday and Productivity Tips


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"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


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"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


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"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

Tip #4 Go for Walks


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"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

What to Do After Work


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"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


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"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


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"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


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.

In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).

She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.