Over the last decade, remote work has been increasing significantly in popularity; the remote workforce has grown by 44 percent in the last five years alone. Now, with the current stay-at-home orders and self-isolation, more people are working from home than ever before.

If you’re used to working from home, then you might already have a process in place that works for you. However, if remote work is new to you, here are four ways to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Schedule Your Breaks

Before, you might have had a group of coworkers at the office with which to chat around the watercooler or share your lunch break. Without the company at home, your coffee breaks are often overlooked. But they’re important for keeping you sane. It is necessary to maintain productivity and mental well-being during your workday, and breaks from the computer screen go a long way. So make sure every couple of hours you take at least one 15 minute break. And if you’re not one for simply resting your eyes and mind, here are some things to do during your break to stay productive:

  • Walk your dog
  • Stand up and make a call
  • Load the dishes
  • Take out the garbage
  • Program your smartwatch to prompt a stretching or breathing routine
  • Start a load of laundry

Stick to a Morning Routine

There are some very obvious benefits of working remotely. You no longer have to deal with rush-hour, stress over what you will wear (on your lower half at least), or try and beat the crowd at the local coffee shop. Just because your office is a few steps from your bedroom (or is your bedroom), however, does not mean you should throw out your morning routine.

Make sure you’re still taking showers. Get in the habit of doing that morning workout, and get dressed in business attire if it keeps you alert. And eat a healthy breakfast. That maintained routine will help your brain mentally prepare for the rest of the day.

Change Workspace Occasionally 

The nice thing about working remotely is that you don’t have to sit in one place the whole workday. Even though it’s a good idea to designate a space for working remotely, it doesn’t mean you’re absolutely confined to it like you would be at the office. When that three o’clock slump seeps in, consider getting up and relocating your workspace for a temporary change of scenery. Get some fresh air and some sunshine.

Put on White Noise Music

Music machines that make white noise can be nice for adding ambient sounds and even help drown out the neighbors. If you happen to have an Amazon Echo, you can ask Alexa for white noise to help in the form of a thunderstorm, fireplace, train, babbling brook, etc. The website Coffitivity is also a great option if you’re used to working well with background noise.

Remote working might be new for many people, but with a few tips like those above can help you master the new normal for us all. Good luck!