Greetings and happy St. Paddy’s Day! This is definitely going to be an unusual one, isn’t it? Well, we are all in this together, so let’s try to make the best of it!
For today’s post, I thought I’d share some tips for working from home since so many are finding themselves in this situation right now. But when I asked last night on my Insta Story if people prefer working from home tips or a fun fashion post, it was almost a draw.
Since I’m a people pleaser, I’ll share a little of both!
Up first, my best tips for working from home and maintaining a work/life balance…
5 Tips for Working from Home
I’ve been working full-time from home for quite a few years, and I’ve developed some habits and strategies that I hope you’ll find useful if you’re suddenly navigating these uncharted waters.
I realize that working from home by choice as I do is quite different from being forced into it, and some jobs just aren’t very conducive to working remotely, but hopefully some of these tips will help you create routines and habits that will serve you well during the upcoming weeks.
#1. Maintain your usual morning routine.
It may be tempting to sleep in or do other things in the morning, now that you don’t have to report to work at a certain time, but that can quickly take a downward spiral until you are struggling to be productive and fit it all in.
My best piece of advice is to continue to get up at your normal time and do your normal morning routine — including getting showered and dressed.
Because I gradually went from being a stay-at-home mom to a work-at-home mom, I never really established that getting-ready habit first thing in the morning, and I wish I had. The days that I get showered and dressed early in the day are by far my most productive days.
So make your coffee, do your devotions or meditation, exercise, eat, whatever you normally do; but before diving into work, put yourself together just like you would if you were going the office.
#2. Create a dedicated work space.
This may be hard if you don’t have a home office or an area already designated for working from home, but do your best with what you have. Set up a spot that is YOUR work space.
Don’t be tempted to work in front of the TV or in bed.
Find a spot for some type of makeshift desk, if you don’t already have one, and instruct family members to stay away.
#3. Designate specific work hours, and set boundaries with kids/husband/bored friends.
This advice is two-fold. First, this ensures that you allot yourself enough time to get your work done. It’s tempting to put it off and tend to household chores or socializing with friends or family members when you should be working.
And second, this prevents you from over-working. It can be hard to walk away from work when you’re at home, and before you know it, you’re working 24/7.
So set specific “office hours” and instruct those around you that you are working and should not be interrupted unless it’s necessary.
I realize some have young kids at home right now, and that can be extra challenging, but try to come up with strategies or an alternating schedule with your spouse or others in the same boat as you so that you can work uninterrupted for at least some of the time.
Then, when it’s dinner time or whatever time you designate as the end of your work hours, walk away and don’t go back to your work station until the next day.
That doesn’t mean be a slave to your smartphone, either. Make it a point to be present with those around you, and use the extra time you may be saving from your commute or daily errands to do something productive.
I’ve been cooking more at home, now that our restaurants are closed, and it’s been really nice to get back to my roots. I used to love cooking dinner, but in recent years, I’ve let busyness distract me and conveniences entice me. I’m trying to enjoy this time in the kitchen, with Paul and the kids sitting at the counter chatting to me. #makinglemonadeoutoflemons
#4. Minimize distractions during work hours, but also set specific break times and opportunities to socialize.
You may want to make a to-do list or write out a daily schedule if you’re trying to fit a lot in, but try not to work straight for more than an hour without getting up to move around.
Take 10 minutes every hour to throw in a load of laundry, or play a quick game with the kids, or schedule a chit-chat session with co-workers you via Skype. But set a timer so the 10 minutes doesn’t extend to an hour — that will happen before you know it!
If you normally get a lunch break, take a lunch break. If you normally get out for a walk in the middle of the day, set a time and be sure to do that.
I like to set reminders on my phone to get up and move around during my work hours.
When you are working, focus on the task at hand, and eliminate all possible distractions.
Turn off Facebook and email alerts, and instead set designated times for a Facebook break or to read your favorite blogs… ahem!
That is a good rule for any work situation, not just at home; but with so much happening in the news and no one to look over your shoulder or walk into your cubicle, you may find it even more tempting to click on that Facebook tab when you should be working.
#5. Beware of falling into bad habits like snack mindlessly or watching too much TV/news.
This is good advice for all who are suddenly stuck at home with nowhere to go, working or not.
When you’re at home all day, it’s so easy to walk by the pantry and grab something to eat, or open the fridge out of boredom rather than hunger — especially in times of added stress, like we are living through right now.
If you find yourself bored and looking for something to do, don’t be tempted fill that time with food or media.
Instead, try to stick to whatever good habits you have set for yourself at work. If you find yourself with more time on your hands than you’re used to, fill that time with healthy activity — not junk food or more media.
I would also encourage us all to be mindful of how much time we spend watching news coverage and scrolling our Facebook feeds. We need to be informed so we make wise decisions and behave responsibly, but if we dwell on matters we can’t control, that only incites worry and anxiety.
Rather than spending more time on a screen or gazing at your well-stocked pantry, go for a walk or call a friend or play a game with the kids or read a good book. Find something productive and mentally/physically healthy to do instead.
The habits you form now are most likely the ones you continue to nurture and develop in the coming days and weeks (and months?) ahead, so choose wisely.
Work From Home Outfit Inspiration
For those looking for a fun fashion diversion, here are 5 casual outfit formulas that are perfect for working from home.
I keep it casual and comfortable when I’m at home, but I like to look put together, so I almost always accessorize and get dressed down to my shoes… eventually!
#1. cozy sweater + jeans + fashion sneakers
I’d gander that I wear jeans and a pullover 9 days out of 10, but I don’t wear old schlubby jeans and a ratty sweatshirt. I try to only wear clothes that I love and feel good in.
This striped cowl neck sweater from LOFT is cozy and warm, but the nautical stripes are giving me all the spring vibes, making it perfect for this in-between season. Today it’s marked down to $49, and you can use code GREEN to get an additional 40% off + 17% off with FREE SHIPPING.
stripe sweater // skinny jeans (budget option) // sneakers // earrings
#2. t-shirt with cozy cardigan + jeans + mules
This is the perfect time to break out the cardigans — if you aren’t going anywhere, you don’t have to worry about the coat issue! Plus, it’s perfect for this in-between season, because you can remove it if it gets warm in the afternoon and still have a complete outfit.
This cardigan is an #amazonfashionfind and it’s really good. Cozy, soft, stretchy, and not itchy. Plus it has slim sleeves, which are flattering. Read more about how to wear cardigans without looking frumpy.
And you probably already know how much I love these mules, but if you’re just tuning in, they are super soft and comfortable and easy to walk in. They come in a bunch of other great colors too, if white isn’t your thing. (I love the caramel color.)
I’m also trying to support Everlane as much as possible right now because I love how they’re handling this crazy pandemic we are dealing with.
cardigan // tee (budget option) // jeans (budget option) // mules (budget option) // earrings // necklace
#3. elevated tee + jeans + loafers
This cheerful coral henley tee is another great transition piece from LOFT that’s currently 40% off + extra 17% off and free shipping with code GREEN.
I paired it with ankle-length jeans and loafers for a modern look that’s also practical and comfortable.
henley tee // jeans (budget option) // loafers // earrings
#4. cute hoodie + leggings + running sneakers
Sometimes I allow myself to wear workout gear all day, but I try to only do that when I know I’m going to do something active later in the day (like take a walk or do a yoga video), and I try to wear something that I think is cute and flattering.
My Sweaty Betty hoodie is 30% off at Nordstrom, and these leggings are super soft and cozy and totally not see-through, but yes, they are pricey.
For more budget-friendly options, this hoodie is really cute and ships free with Prime, and my daughters love these Core 10 leggings also from Amazon.
hoodie (on sale / budget option) // tank (budget option) // leggings (budget option) // Nikes // earrings
#5. cute sweatshirt + jeans + fashion sneakers
This one is sort of in between the sweater and jeans looks and the leggings outfit above.
I love this v-neck sweatshirt from J.Crew with the colorful banded drawstrings, and it’s 30% off right now with code NEWNEW. I recommend sizing up; I have it in the medium.
These jeans are super stretchy and comfy and 25% off right now, and they’re TTS.
hoodie // jeans (budget option) // sneakers (less $$ / budget option) // earrings
If you liked these outfit ideas, I share my daily outfits every other Wednesday, and the next one is tomorrow. Be sure you are signed up for my daily email newsletter so you don’t miss out!
And on a more serious note, these are uncertain times, for sure. If you need help, please reach out to someone. There are all kinds of provisions being put into place right to help people with emotional/physical/financial needs, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
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42 thoughts on “Tips for Working from Home + Work From Home Outfit Inspo”
Thank you for this post. I agree with all 5 of your work-from-home tips!
I love that every day I can come to your blog, encounter a cheery voice and explore fashion and uplifting topics. Thank you! I am generally a “glass is half full” person but in these times it’s easy to get sucked into fear and anxiety. Reading your blog brings a bright spot to my day. Thank you for continuing your work and sharing joy.
This is definitely unlike anything we’ve seen, but hopefully our govt is getting their act together and will be able to act swiftly and get this under control. Stay positive!
Right on point Jo Lynne, as always!! New numbers suggest in New Orleans we may be second only to Seattle in person capita cases now. Scary times for sure. Thank you for continuing to do what you do. It certainly brightens my day. Stay well.
Yikes. It’s a mess, the numbers are so far off… best we can do is keep social distancing and cooperating with the CDC so we don’t end up under marshall law.
I so appreciate your posts Jolynne–now more than ever! In a constantly changing situation, it is comforting to have things like this that are part of my normal routine. Gives me a little hope that someday this will all be past us. The Lord works in mysterious ways, I pray that he is guiding us through this time and reminding us that what we really need is faith, family and friendships. Maybe with all the division in the country we all need to realize that in the end, none of our differences matter. We are all in this together! God bless & be well:)
These are tough times, but we will come out stronger for it. Keep the faith! xo
Maybe a silly question, but do you always wear shoes when you are home? I didn’t know if you are just showing us the complete outfit when posting pictures. I never have shoes on at home,so maybe not fully dressed?
I do – or sometimes slippers.
Ha, I was going to ask the same thing. I’m Asian and we don’t wear shoes in the house. I wear slippers. But I do feel better when I wear comfy but stylish clothes at home. Keeps me from feeling like I let myself go or lazy.
I know, it’s kind of gross. But when we first got married, I tried to get my husband to remove his shoes in the house, and he thought I was nuts. Said he needed the support for his feet.😂 So that was that! I do like wearing them, it makes me feel more fully dressed, esp when working.
We always remove outdoor shoes (that’s just the norm in Canada) when we come into our home. Both my husband and I need supportive shoes when doing inside chores or being on our feet for a long time, like cooking a big meal. We have designated indoor shoes for those times and it works great.
Needed this blog today. Am finding it hard to get motivated to do anything knowing there are endless days ahead. Appreciate you acknowledging the situation we are in while also giving something pleasant to focus on. It’s like having coffee with your girlfriend every morning. Have a good day!
Great post! Your suggestions for those now working from home reminded me of what I did when I was able to work from home. Larry worked from home when he was not traveling to DQ. or at shows, but he had an office upstairs. The dogs went to work with him, so I only had to remind my mom that I had to work. I guess UPS and Fed Ex are still making deliveries! At least I hope they are. Have a great day!
I LOVED this post!!! I’m still sitting in my pj’s during day 2 of e-learning with 3 boys at home! We are still able to go to our local community center and walk/workout if we are in a small group… I almost think this is more important than e-learning at this point! but, as a very part-time preschool/childcare worker and SAHM, I am always looking for cozy, but cute outfit inspo! thank you!!!! so thankful that this happened in the age of social media, because it eases the anxiety of “social distancing” if you are looking at the right stuff! I have loved your blog for YEARS! but, I am pretty sure that I have never posted! so, just thank you for all the beautiful content you put out there!!! 🙂 Leanne
In a related issue to working at home 😉 I think you have a Nespresso machine? I’m thinking of switching over from the Keurig now that I’m a black-coffee-drinker. Do you recommend yours? I believe there are different models so I’m trying to figure out which is the most user-friendly and how easily accessible the pods are. I think I even heard there are Starbucks pods for Nespresso? Any ideas?
I just bought a DeLonghi Magnifica coffee machine. I love it! No pods, just coffee beans and no more coffee grinds in my sink from my press. I drink my coffee black and coffee from my new machine has none of the bitterness I sometimes tasted from my press. Worth every cent I spent on it. And a bonus is that when friends or family stop by, they want coffee from the fancy machine that also makes steamed/frothed milk.
That sounds amazing!
I think I answered this via email, not here in the comments because I don’t see my reply. I do love my Nespresso! Especially now that I’m drinking my coffee black. The froth makes it seem creamier. This is the exact one I have, in the chrome: https://shopstyle.it/l/beOrP
Love your posts and all your stay at home outfits. I look the same most days, jeans and a sweater/sweatshirt! One thing though, I never wear shoes at home. Do you really or just completing your outfit? Slippers or socks are my go to unless I’m actually leaving the house which isn’t often these days😂
I do wear shoes, or at least slippers with the outdoor soles.☺️ I’m an old Flylady flunkie… but I do get dressed to my shoes and shine my sink! 🙂
Wow great info !,,You covered all the bases! As I’m trying to stay healthy
despite working for the airline! Doing my devotions, cooking and walking are
all helping me.
Of course enjoy checking your blog each day!
Good post today. I am retired but my usual schedule is busier and fuller than my work schedule used to be.. So with so much, uhhh – all activities closed, I am now a stay at home retiree. Not easy. However, closets being cleaned out, clothes given away, and garage shelves straightened. I live in Texas and the blue bonnets and Indian paint brush are now starting to bloom along the highways and in uncultivated areas and reminds me that God is still there for us. And yes, I did pull the plug and got that gorgeous navy stripe shirt even though I won’t be able to wear it until next year – too warm here already. Blessings.
As I sit home witnessing history around the world, I’m thankful for your blog’s distraction and also appreciate that you aren’t ignoring what’s going on either (some bloggers/influencers seem to act like nothing at all has changed in their lives.)
I love this post combining tips for working from home plus outfit inspiration! So on Saturday I ordered a bunch of loungewear from Nordstrom knowing that I’d be stuck working from home for the next 4 weeks or more. I ordered jogger pants, lounge pants, a hoodie sweatshirt, and a couple casual Caslon tees. I have a hard time sitting around the house in jeans, so I tend to want to grab my yoga pants all.the.days. 😆 I figured the joggers and tie waist lounge pants would be a step up! If you find any other cute options in the “loungewear” category, provide links please! My husband put on a dress shirt with nice jeans yesterday, and set up in the dining room as his makeshift office. When I questioned why he was getting all spiffy he said he needed to feel a sense of normalcy while he tried to keep doing some business.
I love that coral Henley top you’re wearing above. I went to the LOFT website to buy it but it doesn’t come in an XS which is my normal loft size in tops. What size are you wearing?
I hear ya, and there is nothing wrong with wearing cute loungewear either. I’ve never liked joggers, they seem to accentuate the fluff in my middle and my flat butt. LOL! I usually put on leggings when I don’t want a zipper. But I was planning on doing some content around cute loungewear.
That top is a small, but it is a little snug. Maybe you could get away with it?
Thanks! Okay- I’ll order the top in a small. You made me laugh with your joggers comment! 😀
Amen Heather!! I scratch my head too at bloggers who carry on as if life is all normal or who are shocked at whats going on like they can’t believe whats going on…..
Thank you Jolynn for letting us take a peak into your schedule and routine. You give us a nice break from the grind and still keep it real: thank you!!
Its funny, as a Canadian, its rude to wear shoes inside. Probably has to do with our bad weather mucking up floors and carpets. I wear slippers or designated indoor shoes.
Lets hope everyone takes social distancing seriously and does their part otherwise we face lock downs and martial law here too. Our Canadian Prime Minister is still not doing any medical screening of travellers arriving into Canada!!😲
Thanks! Okay- I’ll order the top in a small. You made me laugh with your joggers comment! 😀
If I’m up and out I try to keep my outfits on when I get back home but there’s just something about getting into those cozy joggers or leggings ( still making a cute outfit). As a rule I usually don’t wear outdoor shoes inside the house.. UGG slippers now and indoor flip flops or slip on sandal in the summer. I just have a thing about germs outside coming in on my clean floors 😂 … once I work out those clothes come off.. I’d like to see some of your lounge wear ideas:) have a good day😀
Do you find it harder to do IF when everyone is home? Kids and husband snacking all day long, pantry stocked with junk food, boredom. I usually have no problem when I’m by myself and don’t have to feed others, but it’s difficult stuck at home.
It’s always a little harder on the days I’m at home, and yes, having kids here making food is tempting. When I’m tempted to put something in my mouth before it’s time, I just try to pour a glass of water (or coffee) and get busy with a project for work, or go for a walk.
Great advice for working from home, Jo-Lynne.I started working full-time from home in 1985 after my second child was born prematurely. Yikes. 35 years?? I’m also very strict with my “rules” as I’m a writer and my deadlines are non-negotiable. I’ve never had the TV once during the day in all these years. I almost never check social media during the day and I let my phone go to voicemail most of the time, returning calls at lunch or after work. I like to take a break for some physical exercise in the middle of the day. Right now I’m swimming, but soon I’ll be walking. Sometimes I make plans with a friend to talk at lunchtime while I walk– working at home can be lonely. I always dress and put on makeup. We don’t wear shoes in the house so I have several pairs of slippers.
Those are great rules. I wish I could get my family to do the no shoes in the house thing, but I gave up years ago.
I donated blood at the local hospital. Guessing all areas need platelets and o negative blood. Donate and feel you’re doing something to help. Then sleep and pray.
These are fantastic suggestions! Thank you! I work at a small university and we are on spring break currently but I went in to the office today and brought home work for the next few weeks. I organized my home office and feel I can go back to work and be productive.
Stay healthy, Jo-Lynn!
These tips are spot on – perfect timing for so many people. I work from home and travel a lot, so I (used to) break up long stretches of time at home with travel. We’ll see how that goes now.
A few of your tips I learned the hard way, taking time to reverse. Do heed the good advice on this post!
When I first started working from home, l I went to the kitchen for a mindless, unnecessary afternoon snack, and it easily became a routine. Boom! Weight gain.
I get dressed daily as well, including shoes, but I am 100% athleisure now, usually Athleta, Lulu, Prana, Title Nine, and items found at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. But dressed. We have scheduled video calls, so I’ll wear full makeup those days, and change my top for the video meeting, but also need to be prepared for imprompu video calls. My daily routine always includes partial makeup, just in case!
Good luck to all adjusting to working from home. Know yourself, and if the new routine feels wrong in some way, it probably is so adjust it and you’ll be fine.
Have you heard about the petition against Everlane for not being true to their claims of transparency? The clothing industry is an incredibly challenging one to fully achieve transparency. I know they are making claims and should be held accountable, but I question if people are getting a bit overzealous sometimes. I feel Everlane is doing a lot more than most other companies and still charging very manageable prices. Just curious if you were aware of the petition and your thoughts.
Thank you for your post today. Many of us are dealing with a situation we never thought we would be in. Our healthcare teams (many of which are women) are working tirelessly to help patients and families through this crisis. We need to ensure that we are caring for ourselves and when working remotely…we are structured (some way) in our work day. Thanks for giving us some guidelines (and some style and comfort advice) for working in this new normal.
I especially loved your post today. I have been working from home for about two years now. Thanks for the fashion tips. At times I miss dressing up.
Thank you for this post! It’s really helpful and a good reminder of what we need to put in place day 1 or 2 in order to be successful as a remote worker especially for those of us used to going into the office. I did realize on a video call yesterday that I need to do something to improve the lighting in my new “home office” because I looked terrible on the web cam! Would love to hear any tips you or others might have. I may post that on the FB page to see if anyone else has ideas.
I have one like this that I use for FB Lives: https://shopstyle.it/l/beQaF
Amen!!!!! Great post. I’m alittle late reading it. 😉. I enjoy that I can still have normal reading yours and Cyndi’s blog. We all need a get away. Thank you for continuing.