Right now, more people are working from home than ever before. For most of us, this is something new: we’re used to going in to work in the morning, having coffee breaks and meetings with our colleagues, and signing off for the day when we leave the office. Maintaining a routine and looking after our wellbeing becomes even more important when our home and work lives become intermingled; here are some tips on how to make working from home as easy as possible.
Create a routine
Rule 101 of working from home – don’t work from your bed! If you can, carve out a permanent workspace in your home where you work from every day, creating a separation in space of your home and work life. Where you can, pretend as though you are actually going into work: get up, showered and dressed, have a cup of coffee, whatever you usually do on a normal workday. Most importantly, once you have finished work for the day, you really want to feel as though you have finished. Put the laptop away, sign out from your emails, and switch off. Keep to your regular work hours, and be sure to take regular breaks away from the screen, and take a proper lunch break. Sticking to as much of a routine as possible will do wonders for both your wellbeing and your productivity!
Everyone enjoys a catch up with our colleagues over the course of the day. As working from home is not usual practice for most of us, try and keep a semblance of normality by still chatting to your colleagues where you can. Maybe schedule in a video chat once a day before you start working, or have an instant messaging platform that allows you to exchange messages throughout the day. Staying connected is more important than ever at the moment, so try and keep in contact with those around you.
There are so many more distractions at home than there are at work. The temptation lies there to have a scroll through social media, or quickly put a load of laundry on while you’re working, and then suddenly it’s the end of the day and you haven’t done anything. Obviously, distractions are unavoidable sometimes, especially if you also have children at home, but wherever you can, try to keep them to a minimum. Try putting your phone in a different room for the day, schedule in breaks where you can check social media, and keep your household tasks to outside of work time where you can. It makes the working day much smoother and easier!
Look after yourself
This is a testing time for everyone: the circumstances we find ourselves in are unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. Be sure to make some time for yourself, doing something you like doing. Go for a walk, read a book, do some yoga or meditate – whatever it is that allows you to practice mindfulness and feel grounded. We aren’t machines, and we need to nourish both our minds and our bodies in order to keep ourselves feeling well, both physically and mentally. We’re allowed to have bad days, and remember – everyone is in this together.