The pandemic hasn’t just changed how we work— but it’s changed where we work. Since more people are now doing their jobs from home now more than ever before, we’ve evaluated some of the best practices for working remotely and have compiled a list of the top 10 tips that can help us stay productive and on task.

Working from home presents a number of challenges, and that goes double if you have kids or roommates at home. And while plenty of people do actually prefer this switch to the WFH life, for others it can be isolating and a struggle to maintain an effective work-life balance.

It appears that working from home is here to stay, at least for the immediate future. So to make it more enjoyable, we’ve gathered some of our very best work from home and home office décor tips, all designed to help you embrace your new lifestyle and create a space within your home where you’re actually inspired to get to work. So let’s get started.

1. Maintain a Schedule Throughout the Day—Especially a Morning Routine

Routines have changed, but they’re still just as important. Set and keep a schedule during your workdays, particularly when it comes to your morning routine. Something as simple as getting changed out of your PJs in the morning and enjoying a nice breakfast before you look at your inbox is a great way to take advantage of work from home flexibility and ease yourself into work mode.

2. Dress Up to Get in the Right  Mindset

Speaking of getting out of those PJs, there’s more to putting on work clothes than just looking professional in video meetings. Dressing up (whatever that means to you) can help you psychologically get into the right mindset. You don’t need to go full pantsuit, but try to stay away from sweatpants and anything else that’s better suited to a movie night on the couch than a workday on the computer.

3. Have a Designated Workspace

Home office decor tips

Don’t have a separate home office? That’s totally fine. What’s most important is that wherever you’re working is clearly set up to, well, work. Regardless of where your office space is, use décor to turn it into a place that you actually enjoy being and that signals to you that it’s time to get to work. (Psst: we’ve got a great selection of modern farmhouse office décor to get you started.)

4. Leave the House and Take Breaks

If you don’t want to burn out, you’ve got to take breaks. And no, a trip to the kitchen for a glass of water doesn’t cut it. Plan out at least 30 minutes for your lunch and a couple extra 15 minute breaks throughout the workday. Make a point of getting out of the house, too—a walk around the block can do wonders for your mental health.

5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Working from home can feel isolating at times, so make sure that you’re maintaining effective communication with your managers and co-workers. You don’t need to chat all day (unless required by your job), but do reach out as appropriate to ask questions, check-in, and remind yourself that you’re not in this alone.

6. Socialize with Your Colleagues

We know that a virtual happy hour isn’t quite as fun as an in-person one, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it! Socialize with your colleagues during—and occasionally after—the workday to keep morale and engagement high.

7. Figure Out When You’re Most Productive

One of the big benefits of working from home is the flexibility that it affords you. We all have times during the day when we’re at our best, so figure out what those times are for you and organize your work around it. You probably won’t be able to change your work hours too much, but you could arrange your tasks so that you do the hardest stuff when you’re at the top of your game.

8. Use a Planner

Best practices for working remotely

Not a planner person? Now’s the time to try one out. Our schedules aren’t quite as busy as they used to be, but planners remain essential for helping us plan out our days and stay on task. Purchase a pre-designed planner or create your own in one of these coveted Rae Dunn Icon journals.

9. Set Alarms Throughout the Day

If you’re having trouble managing your day, an alarm system might be able to help. Set alarms for when you want to start certain tasks, for when you want to take your lunch break, and in advance of any meetings. This strategy will ensure you’re always doing what you need to be doing.

10. Exercise and Eat Healthy

Okay so these aren’t work-related exactly, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward reducing work from home stress and improving your all-around mood. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should put in some effort toward being your healthiest self so that you’re in the best position possible to deal with whatever work throws your way.

With so many companies allowing their employees to work from home indefinitely, it seems like remote work isn’t going anywhere soon. Check out our office collection for awesome home office décor ideas and to create a WFH space that you actually want to work in.