Work From Home Like A Pro
Working from home has become our new normal and it looks like it is here to stay, either temporarily or, for many, by choice. While it originally seemed like a luxury, the novelty of WFH (as it’s now widely known) has worn off so we have some small changes to help you sustain your morale.
1. Set a dedicated work-space
We think working from home gives you licence for a bit of redecoration. We are not talking full-scale building works, but a functional desk area is necessary for a fruitful week. Yes, we said a desk, not your bed.
Firstly, if you have options, pick a space that is tucked away from potential distractions and receives the most natural light. However, you will also want to supplement the natural light with a big desk lamp to reduce eyestrain. On another practical level, whether you’re working from a desk or the kitchen table don’t compromise when finding an ergonomic chair and investing in a foam roller for your back. It is important to keep it aligned and not to be hunched over. You could also consider devising a standing desk by propping up your laptop on the kitchen counter.
In terms of aesthetics, simplicity is key. Invest in or repurpose some storage for filing and pots for pens - as they say, ‘tidy home, tidy mind’. These, coupled with some indoor plants or cacti and wall art you love will create a positive atmosphere.
2. Plan your time
Reflecting on our article ‘New year, New you’, it is important to plan your day and set out a to-do list to keep you optimistic about your ongoing progress. This will hopefully encourage you to work task by task and minimise procrastination. Thing 3 is a great to-do list app that you can download on your phone, iPad and laptop that can sync with your calendar and allow you to set time limits on your to-dos or group them in projects. A pen and paper works just fine too.
However, if you’re struggling to be productive, the Pomodoro technique, which you can easily find online, works wonders. The method uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks and then a long break after 4 intervals.
3. Take breaks
One of the main benefits of working from home is the potential for a more flexible routine. A lack of a commute should, with any luck, free up an extra half an hour to go for a run or get some fresh air. Getting outside during your lunch hour is not only good for your body but also your mental health and creativity. Or a break could just mean treating yourself to a cup of tea and a biscuit during an afternoon lull.
Essential for every aspect of life, but especially during those lonely working hours is staying connected. Do you miss your mid-morning natter by the coffee machine? Keeping up with your colleagues on a personal level as well as on a professional level will help you to get through the week. We mean scheduling regular video call check-ins on top of specifically work-related emails. We are all in this together. Additionally, communicating with family members or housemates about your scheduled meetings and deadlines is crucial to minimise disruptions.
5. Stick to a routine
Setting boundaries is important for a healthy work-life balance. We know that staying in your pyjamas all day is tempting, but getting dressed after a shower will really help you to feel fresh. Together with eating good and tasty food at set times, which will keep you energised, this will make the day seem manageable.
For those passionate about their careers, it is very tempting to extend the working day by a few hours to get those remaining things done. This should be avoided as it will have a knock-on effect on your mental health and your ability to stay focused. Therefore, when the working day is done, log off completely and focus on your personal life to avoid burnout. Now is the time to pop open a bottle of Pale Fox and celebrate that you’ve got through another day!