5 tips for working from home
Following the recent government guidelines, many of us are now finding ourselves working from home (WFH), and for lots of us, this is a completely new experience!
From deciding where to set up your new workstation to making sure you’re remaining just as productive whilst away from the office, it can feel like there are many different things to consider.
So, to help you more effectively manage remote working, we’ve put together some useful tips and tricks to make sure you get the most from working at home.
1. Choose a suitable workspace
When working from home, it’s very easy to get in the mindset of staying in your PJ’s all day and simply working from your bed. I mean, we all dream of spending all day in bed when we’re at work, so why not make it a reality?
Well actually, it’s emerged that’s the one thing you shouldn’t do.
In an article by the Metro, psychologist Charlotte Armitage says:
By working in spaces that should be reserved for resting, we’re confusing our brains into what is a workspace and what is a place for relaxing. This can create difficulties sleeping as your brain is associating your bed as a place for working and can cause a productivity dip as your brain relates this space to a place to unwind.
So, make sure you find a place that you can dedicate primarily to working, whether this is the dining room table or the conservatory. Choose a place you can theoretically leave at the end of the day, just like you would an office.
2. Communication is key
Usually, in an office environment, it’s pretty simple to speak to your co-workers. You just walk to their desks and can communicate pretty easily. So, what do you do now you’re all sat working in your own homes?
Regular catch up calls and team meetings over Skype, Webex, slack are going to be essential during this time. Whilst, it might be called ‘self-isolation’, it’s more important than ever to communicate with your colleagues. Book in at least weekly calls where you can discuss the latest on projects, what you’ve achieved and goals for the upcoming week.
3. Maintaining a work-life balance
In the office, it’s very easy to log off, go home and leave your work life behind. However, when you’re working at home, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of “Oh I’ll just send one more email” or “I’ll quickly deal with this and then log off” and before you know it, it’s 7:30 pm.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to set some time boundaries. Use the time before 9 am as your morning routine just as you would when working at the office. Grab yourself that coffee, use that extra time to go for a jog, and then make sure you’re back at your designated workspace, feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!
Schedule the rest of your time so you don’t start creeping into the ‘out of office’ hours. Decide when you plan to take a lunch break (make it regular if you can) and set yourself boundaries for working in the evening. Say to yourself, after 6 pm, I must be switched off and anything I haven’t completed, I’ll write down for tomorrow. Then, aim to distance yourself by moving into another room, watching TV or making dinner.
4. Stay active
Advice for looking after our mental health seems to be very prominent, but what about our physical health?
Sitting down bent over a screen and not having the daily exercise of maybe just walking into town to grab a sandwich, can have a knock-on effect on your mood.
If you’re not self-isolating, stretch your legs at lunchtime, go for that early morning run (you’ve got the extra time!) and do an online exercise class.
It will help you clear your head and come back to your workspace feeling refreshed, focused and mentally ready.
5. Embrace the change!
Humans tend to react rather negatively to change, and it’s only natural to be sceptical.
However, rather than simply focusing on the elements of remote working that might be more challenging, why not concentrate on all the positives?
Away from all the distractions, you can finish that proposal quicker or have more time to complete that presentation you’ve been putting off.
It might even be something as simple as making that avocado on toast for breakfast that you wouldn’t normally have time for.
Maintaining a positive attitude in the midst of change is crucial, and a skill that if you can apply to working at home, will be useful in all elements of working.
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