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What are your best tips for maintaining mental health / mindfulness when working from home?

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Team Lead at Mistplay2 months ago

Remote work can be great, but personally in my first year of doing it in 2020 I loved it for the first 2 weeks and then started struggling more over the next months. I really enjoy it now coming up on 4 years working remote, but would be great to share tips!



  • 13
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    Team Lead [OP]
    2 months ago

    I'll start:

    • #1: try to really never ever ever work in the same spot where you eat or sleep or relax. Feels great at first to work in a comfortable spot, then becomes very uncomfortable to eat and sleep in a stressful spot
    • Building on #1, if in a small space, try to divide the room between sleep/eat/work with plants, bookshelves, curtains from amazon
    • Get out and see people in person now! Its great to see family and friends in person now even if not coworkers. And if your company can fly you out to meet team members in person a couple times a year even better

    Bonus: if you have the space for it try getting a comfy spot to work that you enjoy that isn't your dining spot, couch, bed. I'm in my work comfy chair when I have an early morning meeting or if I just want to like right now

  • 10
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    Senior Manager at SAP
    2 months ago

    Here are a few things that I do

    • Take periodic breaks and if possible, take a walk outside.
    • Don't have your lunch at your computer, have it in a different place. I prefer to watch TV while having lunch.
    • Shut down your computer after work.
    • Exercise - Go to a gym or find some physical activity outside.
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    Engineer @ Robinhood
    2 months ago

    At some point, I played maplestory during my lunch breaks and started signing off at 2-3 PM on Fridays when I had no deadlines.

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    Weirdly enough, I have found that the best way to not go insane while working from home is to make it as much like office life as possible. Your goal is to take the benefits of the in-person model (don't lose them!) and shave off the downsides (mainly the commute):

    1. Work regular hours - Just because you can do whatever hours you want doesn't mean you should. Try to do a 9AM - 6PM or whatever you're used to.
    2. Have your work location be separate - Don't double up your bedroom or dining area as an office. Have it be a separate room to mimic the feeling of going to a physically different building like what we did back before the pandemic. You need that boundary. The tricky part is having a living space big enough to have those separate office rooms (cost of living crisis is rough 😓), especially if you have a significant other who is also working remotely.
    3. Go for walks - This one's more unique to me as an in-office perk as I spent the largest part of my career at Meta being very spoiled, working on a giant tech campus that felt like an amusement park. My point still stands, and this should be easier to do when you're working remotely due to the flexibility (unless you live in an ultra-sparse rural area or something).
    4. Don't be afraid to have more meetings - This is especially true for 1 on 1s. When you're in-person, a lot of relationship-building with teammates comes "for free" (the classic water cooler chat or I guess microkitchen chat for tech workers). You lose that in a remote environment, and it's easy to get lonely. Set up recurring and ad-hoc 1 on 1s liberally and follow the advice here to get maximum value out of them: [Masterclass] How To Have Impactful 1 on 1 Meetings

    The overall goal is to prevent work and home life from blending together, which can easily happen physically and temporally if you aren't diligent about it. When everything is sort of 1 giant glob, it is very easy to overwork and really mess up your mental health.

  • 12
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    Shift some meetings to be audio-only and then take them as a phone call while walking.

    Video fatigue is real, and I think much better (or at least differently) when I'm walking or moving.

  • 10
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    Software Engineer @ Wikimedia Foundation
    2 months ago

    I need quite a bit of structure to my day, although it varies. But some things:

    • journaling before the day begins
    • pair and/or have a coffee chat with teammate on a weekly(-ish) basis
    • when I feel antsy but still need to plow, find a random study buddy to keep accountable: https://www.focusmate.com/
    • read discussions on Taro
    • using a timer for focus (a physical/kitchen timer, not an app!)
      • and finding the right intervals (Pomodoro doesn't work well for me; the 5 min break is too long and I lose momentum)
    • finding times when I work best and filling in the hours where I'm less functional for the mundane; appointments, cleaning, etc.
    • sleeping well
      • I'm finding that I need to exert myself a good amount during the day to get quality sleep; getting 8 hours is ineffective for me if it lacks quality. Many times, I can feel extremely rested after 5 or 7.5 hrs (and not in b/w either lol).
    • jogging (ideally in nature); 10/10 recommend to re-energize during the midday slump
    • minimum 1 hour of 'me' time; doing anything I want to do!
    • for-fun reading before bed
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    Senior Software Engineer at Samsara
    2 months ago

    Keeping as much separation between work and home life as possible is key.

    I'm lucky enough to have a dedicated room for my home office. It's small at 65 square feet, but that hasn't stopped me from creating a space that feels suitably disconnected from my home.

    I deliberately opted for wood flooring when the rest of the house is carpets; horizontal blinds instead of curtains. I also took some inspiration from the fancy spaces of big tech companies. One wall is entirely covered in (fake) plants.

    There's a door with a lock. This goes both ways. When I'm working, I turn the thumb turn to keep my kids from wandering in, and when I'm finished for the day, I lock myself out with the key. This reduces the chance of me popping back in to check my email.

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    Entry-Level Software Engineer [SDE 1] at Amazon
    2 months ago

    I always do some outdoor sport/activity or at the very minimum take a walk around the block at ~6:00 PM every day after work. This helps to decompress my mind.

    I know this thread is about working from home but I always found that working at the office was much better for my mental health. I'm based in the New York suburbs, so I often travel to New York City for work, and let me tell you: the hustling and bustling, energy, passion, and intensity of the city never gets old.

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    Senior Engineering Manager @ Discover Financial
    19 days ago

    Win your anxiety - when working remotely you can’t afford to be always anxious thinking u will lose ur job. it kills your productivity that way. Another thing is put more emphasis on effective communication. .

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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Bloomberg LP
    18 days ago

    I find timeboxing work to do the most important tasks super productive. Something like a 1.5 hour block in the morning, and one in the noon to get the most high priority stuff done for the day. That gives me permission to turn off my computer at 5pm and go relax, play video games, etc.

    Also putting an interrupt with exercise at 5pm! Just 20 minutes of a decently intense workout is so important for your mental health! Personally, I would go beyond that and join a gym (like martial arts). Puts a great hard stop to your work day and it's also a great way to network outside of work!

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