Many of us are spending many more hours at home at the moment, having to balance working and looking after our families. Working from home can be tricky at the best of times, but even more so when our houses are full and the stress and worry surrounding the global pandemic is hard to keep off our minds.
Whether forced to self-isolate or simply following the work from home guidelines as per the government’s briefings, we all have to find a way to make a success of it. Here are our top tips to make a success of your new home/work life and maintain as a happier mood as possible at the same time.
1. Routine from the Off
Get up, get dressed for work and get ready for the day as if you are leaving for the office as usual. This basic routine helps to keep you in the right mindset and positions you well for a good working day, every day. Mentally the benefits of being washed and dressed for work are manifold and once you get into a good routine, you’ll feel better for it.
2. Set Up for Success
Creating the right environment for work and productivity can be key for success. Find a bright and airy spot in the home to work from and create a personal space which is just for you and your work. Obviously, the children and other family members may be welcome, but everyone should be aware that this is your workspace.
3. Set a Schedule
Working from home cannot work along the same lines as your regular workday. Having this expectation will never lead to success. It’s well known that taking a break every so often is great for concentration and mental wellbeing, so set up a schedule of work and breaks and stick to it.
4. Set Boundaries and Stick to them
You must have boundaries both with your work and with your homelife so they don’t become completely intertwined. You can’t be taking your work to bed with you and you need to ensure that your workspace isn’t constantly intruded by the wider family, though this can be hard. Your dedicated workspace should be treated as your office and with this in mind you should also take regular breaks away from it to maintain a distinction between work and home life.
Overworking will also lead to more stress in an already fraught situation, so be sure that your working day has a set beginning and end time.
5. Personalise your Work Environment
Can you listen to your favourite music as loud as you like in the office? Not in many places! Similarly, it’s unlikely your pets or your young kids can join you at break time, so take advantage and enjoy the small benefits of being at home and the additional comforts this can bring.
6. Keep Connected
Keeping in touch with colleagues is absolutely essential to maintain that sense of workplace morale and avoid too much isolation and loneliness. Tools such as Zoom and MS Teams have become hugely popular in the last few weeks as we’re trying to recreate the office environments in our own homes, if only for a couple of hours a day. Companies and teams are also setting up WhatsApp groups to keep everyone connected and keep morale boosted.
7. Virtual Social and Tea Breaks
If you’re missing your best office mate, then schedule your daily tea break into your new work day. Whether you want to Skype each other or simply have a quick phone call there is no harm in keeping some elements of your regular working day going, especially when they make each day feel better and more positive.
8. Enjoy the Sunshine and your Daily Exercise
The benefits of getting out for just a short amount of time are huge for your mental health and your productivity at work. We all know exercise releases endorphins but in addition to this, the brighter weather is perfect for lightening your mood and helping keep you in a positive mindset for the rest of your working day. Even if you only have a jog around the garden or a dance with the kids, it’ll benefit both your work and your mind.
Working from home does not come naturally to everyone, especially when there are so many additional stressors and worries at the moment. Creating a bright and welcoming workspace in your home and doing all you can to keep positive and stay social really can make all the difference.