Working from home in your jammies may sound like a dream, but days (or let’s be honest weeks) later the novelty of skipping the dreaded morning commute can soon wear off. Without a proper structure, working remotely can not only hinder your productivity, it can also put a strain on your mental wellbeing.
To ensure we all stay healthy (and sane!) during the pandemic, here are a few of my top tips when working from home.
Wake up early
When working in an office, your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk. At home, however, the transition from your bed to your laptop can be much more diffiicult.
To counter this, one way to work from home productively is to dive straight into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Simply hitting the emails first thing in the morning can be the key to sustaining a productive mindset throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll prolong breakfast and let the morning get away from you. I actually like to crack on with a coffee straight away, and pause for breakfast around 10am.
Find a dedicated space
Just because you’re not working in an office, it doesn’t mean you can’t create your own. Rather than hiding away in your bedroom or lounging on the sofa – spaces that are associated with relaxing – dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
I like to set myself up on the kitchen table because it’s nice and light – and close to the coffee machine…
Plan your day
Just as you would in the office, write yourself a list of tasks to complete that day, prioritising those urgent projects first. And then take this further, and plan your breaks and lunch hours too. You’ll find a stricter schedule makes you more productive, focussed and less distracted by the temptations at home. If you need to put the washing on, then fine, but make a note to do this during your break.
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term, but it can also make you feel extremely cut off. Instant messaging and Zoom calls can make it easy to check in with your colleagues. Or if you are self-employed, dedicate some time to chat with friends over whatsapp (i’ve heard House Party is good too!).
Dress the part
As tempting as it is to stay in your dressing gown all day, what you wear can really impact your productivity. Save those fluffy robes for the weekend, and wear proper clothes during working hours. Don’t get me wrong, tight jeans at home are a no-go, but you’ll still feel ten times more productive wearing those comfy joggers.
Technology at the ready
As I said before, it’s so important to stay connected, so make sure you do your checks to ensure you have everything you’ll need. Good wi-fi, headphones with a mic and some sort of built in webcam are a great start. And with that said, don’t forget the basic necessities like your pen and paper. Prepping your toolkit every evening can save a lot of faffing first thing.
Although it might be restricted to once a day (outside the house) right now, if you can get outside during your breaks you’ll feel so much more energised when you get back to work. Whether it’s a walk around the park, or a coffee in the sunshine, try your best to take regular breaks and soak up that fresh air.
Sending you all lots of love during this challenging time.