He also ordered a lumbar cushion. “It’s totally saved my back—hugely recommend it for slouchers. Of course, it’s no good if you’re working from the sofa.” And his Nespresso Mini Essenza is working overtime. “It’s great because it makes a cup of coffee in 30 seconds. It’s so small, it can sit right next to your workstation.”

And don’t forget the little things, like getting a real mouse. “It’s a game changer. Laptop trackpads just don’t cut it and could lead to mistakes,” says Lam. An external keyboard is a good idea, too, and if you can swing it, a second monitor.

Set Boundaries
When you live in your office, it’s easy to overwork.

Servando in Hong Kong stresses the importance of completely logging off when you’re supposed to. Resist the urge to come back to your computer after dinner. “Otherwise, the work life bleeds into home life, physically and mentally.”

“The biggest surprise for me is how fast the day can go without you realizing it, compared with working in the office,” says Lam. “Cutting out the commute makes me feel much more productive with my day. But on the other hand, it sometimes does not feel like you’re actually done with work when your working hours are up. So it’s important to know when to get up and turn it off.”

If possible, designate an area for work, as opposed to using your kitchen table or bed. It helps get you into a better mental space than you might think. Transitioning to a laptop, slower home internet, and a laggy virtual private network can lead to major frustration. The key is to minimize it.

“I generally try not to sit on the couch until after the workday,” says Alice Truong, digital news editor in Hong Kong, who created a makeshift standing desk, using boxes to raise her keyboard and monitor. “I also got a new router and gooseneck kettle, both of which have been a boost.”

Megan Hess, also in Hong Kong, says the biggest thing for her was “creating an actual physical space to work, which can be tricky in a small apartment space.” She also recommends adhering to regular morning routines, such as listening to a favorite news podcast while getting ready. “I bought a small table and chair to sit at, and advise getting a monitor and separate mouse/keyboard so you’re not slouched over a tiny laptop.”

One major bonus of having a dedicated setup: “After the workday was over, I put all my office ‘supplies’ (notebooks, etc.) away and out of sight till the next morning.”

What if My Kids Are Home, Too?
“Three-year olds are inherently attracted to keyboards, mice, or anything that clicks, so it’s important that you have things that are even more irresistible handy, like their favorite toys or cookies,” says Young-Sam Cho, an editor in Hong Kong. “Saying ‘No, don’t grab that’ or ‘Hey, I’m in the middle of sending an important headline/story’ just won’t cut it. If nothing works, give them the iPad.”

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