Tips For Working At Home: How To Leave Work And Have Fun Doing It

How To Leave Work And Have Fun Doing It

It’s okay to admit that your home is a stressful work environment. Especially with Coronavirus (COVID-19). The kids are always screaming. Your dogs wants more affection and your cat wants you to leave. And why is your furloughed spouse blasting 24-hour cable news all day long? You’re just trying to get some work done.

Everyone’s situation is difficult and unique. And we need to admit that these uncertain times give us anxiety. When I started working from home 6+ years ago, I had many of the same issues you’re experiencing right now. While this post is related to my Take A Break post, I’ve heard and observed this area needed more attention. I hope that my experience will help you relieve the stress you’re feeling these days.

Why We Need Our Nights, Weekends, and Vacations

1) Productivity — Employees who work 60-hour weeks are less productive than workers who put in 40-hours a week. Why? They burnout. In fact, many experiments have even found that productivity increase when the work week is reduced to 4 days. For example, Microsoft saw productivity skyrocket 40% with a 4-day work week. An Ernst and Young report stated an average 8% boost in performance rate for every 10 hours of vacation taken.

2) Free Time — Isn’t it just a waste of time? Absolutely not. Working without time off causes you to burnout with stress and exhaustion. Weekends allows you to recharge and stay motivated. You’re just like a race car, you need to take a pit stop to change your tires and refuel if you want to win the race.

3) Long-Term Happiness — Employees that have a healthy work/life balance are much happier. In fact, working over 40 hours doubles your chances of depression. Happy employees stay with their organizations much longer. And that reduces the Human Resource costs of severance/bonus packages, hiring recruiters, time spent on interviews, training, and other related costs.

Working a maximum of 40 hours isn’t just good for business, but it improves your home life. Studies have found you’re more likely to have better relationships with your partner, children, and other relationships.

4) Your Health — We’re all home to stay healthy. But, sitting at your desk all day increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many underlying conditions which can be fatal if you become infected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). So, walk away from your desk.

Stress causes more absenteeism and illness. In 2016, that cost American businesses $382 billion. Certainly much more during a pandemic.

How Do We Take and Use Our Nights, Weekends, and Vacations

1) Turn Off Work — Nights, Weekends, and Vacations are your time. Turn off the computer and/or put a towel over it if it’s in your dining room. Close the door if you have an office. Switch off notifications on your phone. Don’t let work invade your time and space.

2) Make Nights and Weekends Special — This is your time to be with your family. Stay-at-Home orders can add stress to boredom. We all need something to look forward to after work and school. I suggest selecting “theme nights.” Here are some of my favorites: pizza night, B-movie night, wino weekend, ice cream Sunday, backyard camping night, evening nature walk, family Zoom night, game night, driveway chalking, and countless others. Are your kids or roommates musical? Then have a “band night.”

3) Runaway! — Is there a place you like to picnic, hike, or visit? Plan to have family time there every week.

4) Read — Do you know how many books I’ve not read on my shelves? Far too many. Nothing is better than lying in my hammock reading a book in the summer.

5) Meditate/Pray — This is a time of quiet reflection. Learn to meditate at: Mindful. Learn to prey at: WikiHow or find your spiritual/religious organization’s website.

6) Backyard Camping — Set up a tent, have a bonfire, eat hot dogs, roast s’mores, tell ghost stories, and sleep under the stars.

7) Chalk the Driveway — Draw all over your driveway and sidewalks. Thank essential workers. Make silly monsters. Draw your favorite characters. Create obstacle courses. Make a self portrait.

8) Cooking — Use this time to make your favorite foods. Don’t know how to cook; learn! Here’s a good place for all kinds of options: Learn To Cook

9) Gardening — This is a great way to spend some time outside. And there’s lots of reasons to garden: you love flowers, fresh food, safe from pesticides and other poisons, light exercise, restoring ecosystem and help climate, community buildings, and save money. Learn To Garden

10) Hobby — Find something you love to do. It can be painting, sculpture, sewing, writing, photography, printing, volunteering for a cause, fitness, biking, hiking, woodworking, learn a new language, making models, magic, juggling, fishing, running, dancing, swimming, geo-caching, surfing, astronomy, model rockets, bird watching, researching ancestry, history of a specific event, card games, pool, darts, home brewing, wine tasting, music, collecting and so, so very much more.


Have any questions? Please feel free to contact me.

More Having Fun During Coronavirus

Mike Kraus was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries. Currently, Kraus lives in Rochester, New York with his beautiful wife and goofy dog.

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