Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to smash through loads of laundry each day and having control over the music playlist, working from home is a very different beast from going into the structured environs of an office. Once you acknowledge and move past the differences, it’s possible to turn your work-from-home situation into something really positive.
Here are some tips to get you going.
Create a dedicated workspace
Yes, this can be hard if your partner is working from home, too. And your kids are home schooling. And there are piles of washing to fold. And craft to put away. We get it. When everyone’s stuck at home, space becomes pretty precious.
But if you do need to clock eight hours of work a day (or thereabouts), then it pays to be pushy. Find a space in your home that’s quiet, light, breezy, and bright. Ideally, it’s not your bed. Or the lounge. Once you’ve found your spot, stake your claim. Add a pot plant or two, a beautiful scented candle, an ergonomic chair (if you can). Clear the clutter and you’ll be raring to enter your space every day.
Create a you-sized routine
The real magic of working from home is that you are not bound by the typical nine-to-five constraints of office life. Instead, you can get your work done when it suits you (meetings aside). So, if you are super productive at 5am, then get up early and smash out a few hours of work before the rest of the house wakes up. In doing so, you buy yourself more time during the day to do other stuff.
Or, if you like the rhythm of your usual working day, then stick with what you know. Perhaps it’s a cuppa at 8:30am while you clear the emails and write your task list, and then diving into a day’s work. Don’t forget to give yourself a lunchbreak – ideally with some vitamin D and exercise.
Create some healthy habits
When working from home, you’ve got the opportunity to embrace new, healthy habits away from the lure of co-workers’ sweet treats. If you’re hungry, opt for a handful of nuts or a bowl of yoghurt and berries. Make a salad or soup at the start of the week (or both), so you’ve got something delicious and nutritious to enjoy for lunch.
Without your daily commute to the office, you have more time on your hands to exercise. Use the time you’d spend on your commute to go for a walk, ride, or jog. Or sign up for an online yoga or HIIT class. Just go easy if you’re introducing new forms of exercise into your routine. Start slowly and build yourself up.
Create a clocking off routine
Finishing your workday at home can be hard. Many people find that the day never ends, and they find themselves answering emails or following up on one more item on the to-do list before bed. Try to avoid falling into this trap – you still need to make time for yourself and your family. Working late can impact on your sleep, which is so important for your overall health and wellbeing. So, make sure to clock off at the end of the day and limit your screen time once you’ve done so.
And, remember, this time won’t last
For most of us, we’ll look back on 2020 as a crazy year in which we spent more time than ever before at home. Try to make the most of it by turning your WFH situation into something special.