Millions of living rooms across the UK have now been converted to a home office and while the essentials of a desk, comfortable chair and easy access to the kettle are first on everyone’s checklist, it’s important to put a robust structure in place to stay focussed and motivated while working from home.
We have devised some of our top working from home tips – which will help you get the most out of your working day, even those working from home with kids!
Dedicate ‘work only’ areas
Although the lines have become a little blurred, work and home are slowly morphing into one, it’s important to keep them as separate as possible, dedicating an area in the house to work and equally as important, dedicating areas of the home that stay a home.
Yes, it might be a blessing that we can now skip the morning commute that we disliked so very much, but this doesn’t mean that we can simply roll out of bed and be ready for work. Continue to get up at a normal time and take a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea before you start your day working from home. It’s also important to resist the temptation of setting up on the sofa in your PJS. Take a shower, get dressed, go to a room with lots of daylight and you’ll be sure to have a better state of mind prepared for the day.
Take regular breaks
For many, working from home is a completely novel concept. This ‘new norm’ will feel very different and may take a few days to get used to – and that’s okay!
In the office it’s unheard of to have an undisturbed length of time in front of your computer. It’s likely you’ll have meetings, brainstorms, toilet breaks and not forgetting kitchen conversations around the kettle. These distractions created natural breaks in your schedule which should still be mirrored at home. Splitting your day into manageable chunks will increase productivity and keep you focussed.
Plan regular breaks into your day and don’t be too hard on yourself. To keep the creative juices flowing, stretch your legs, get a change of scenery and keep hydrated. Perhaps other members of your household are also working from home. Why not sit down for lunch and a chat with them or certainly take a moment in your day to check in with them. Not only will this give you a short break from work but it will also help to reset and refocus.
Food for the brain
No, this doesn’t mean making sure the biscuit tin is full of your favourite treats, this means making sure your brain stays stimulated with the foods we are eating. Meal times will be another part of your working day facing a massive change – there’s no more heading to the canteen or the deli on the corner to get your favourite lunchtime meal, meals now require planning and preparation.
Blueberries, nuts, greens and most importantly water are just a few of the many foods that will power your brain for a productive day and when the days over… treat yourself to your favourite biscuit!
Create to do lists
For the first time ever our to do lists will most likely stay the same throughout the day without sneaky tasks pushing to the top of our priorities – take advantage of this. Set yourself manageable targets for the day, give time for each task remembering to take a break between each activity.
We all feel a greater sense of achievement when we finish our to do lists, it helps us feel accomplished but remember to be reasonable with yourself set expectations that are achievable you will only begin to feel unmotivated by a ridiculous task list.
Technology is a blessing! From group chats and conference calls, to internal platforms and social media, there are a wealth of different apps and channels available that mean we can stay connected with one another while working from home – not to mention helping us stay sane.
To begin with, conference calls with half of the office may not be smooth sailing but you will soon get into the swing of things and find the right routine for you. Every individual workplace is completely unique and one size definitely doesn’t fit all, but it’s up to you to find an app, a time and a place that suits the team.
Speaking with your colleagues is not only necessary for the purposes of your job but also to keep your mind active. It is easy to get trapped behind the screen, but there really is nothing better than speaking with people – especially in times such as these where you can’t physically see them.