We are over a month into the UK’s coronavirus lockdown with many of you forced to work from home. Hopefully, you’ve hit a rhythm at home, balancing your home-life with your work-life.
We asked our community for their top tips for working from home so, if you’re finding nailing a routine a challenge, take a look at their advice.
Keep your work hours
This may be tricky if you have a family to look after however if you are able to keep your working hours the same this will help to keep your work and home-life separate. Whilst giving you a reason to get up and ready for work in the morning and a definitive time to stop working an put your feet up. Use your Alexa, phone or work calendar to set reminders, helping you keep to a schedule. Without the need to travel into work you have extra time, but make sure you’re at your ‘desk’ and ready to start your working day on time.
Take a break
It seems like an obvious one, but while working from home, some people may feel the need to overcompensate and work more hours than they usually would to prove they aren’t ‘slacking’. Some days at work you end up working through your lunch break. However, when you’re at 24-7 it’s important to break up your day to keep a healthy mindset, ensuring your ability to work productively.
The UK government has given us the green light to leave the house once a day. Take advantage of this. Go for a walk, run or bike ride. You will be amazed how a change of scenery can make the world seem ‘normal’. Furthermore, there have been countless studies on the affect exercise has on your physical and mental health. You may not be one for high intensity or cardio exercise. Perhaps a short walk, yoga session or gentle bike ride is a bit more you. Either way, get up and get out!
Schedule some ‘interactions’
I was listening to BBC Radio One the other day and they said that one of the things people are missing the most are daily social interactions. We take for granted those quick chats in the corridor, creative meetings with colleagues or a simple “Good Morning” to start your day. Thankfully, we live in a digital age where keeping in touch has never been easier. Keep a team chat open on your computer, make a quick call to catch up with a colleague or a scheduled ‘meeting’ with your team. These interactions will help you to remain a community.
Set yourself targets
Look at the targets you have been set and determine if these are realistic in your current situation. If you’re constantly trying to chase targets or catch up, you’ll end up stressed. Instead, be honest with yourself (and your manager) about what you will be able to accomplish.
Furthermore, your targets don’t have to relate to your work. Creating a feeling of accomplishment will help keep a positive mindset. From running a 5K for #runforheros, cooking that recipe you always wanted to try or completing that DIY project. Achieving something you wouldn’t usually have the time to, will allow you to see the positives in this lockdown.
Create your own workspace
A few years ago, I set up my own business which meant working from home became the norm for me. So, I know all too well the importance of having a ‘work only’ space. If you are lucky enough to have an area away from your usual living/relaxing space, set up there.
Limit your distractions
Television – a controversy among home workers. I think having background noise is essential when you’re working in solitude and TV easily provides this. However, I’m not one of those people who does my best work in front of my favourite programme. Instead I work better with music or a podcast playing in the background. If you’re the same, try and move away from your distractions. If you can work with the noise from your television, then you should without feeling guilty! Remember everyone works differently.
For most of us, we spend more than half of our waking hours working. It’s incredibly important to keep our work community alive, now more than ever, we need to support each other. Stay home, stay safe.