Working from home seems to be like marmite.
You no longer have to commute, which saves you time and money BUT, you miss out on the face to face interaction with your colleagues.
Your schedule may now be more flexible, meaning you've ended up with a better work/life balance BUT, you may find communication is more difficult and quickly become frustrated.
There are definitely both pros and cons, but in the current climate, we don't know when we will be back to our offices so I've put together 10 tips to help keep you motivated, engaged and productive at home. Hope it helps!
#1 Create A Space
Whether you have a home office already or are working on a make-shift desk, make the most of a quiet area of your home. Try and make it as comfortable as possible too. There are some gorgeous home office photos on Instagram and Pinterest, but I always end up thinking "I couldn't sit in that chair all day!".
It really helps if you can separate your home and work life and create a physical boundary between the two. If you work in a place separate to where you relax, then you will retain a 'work' mindest much more easily than if you sit in your favourite comfy chair, with your feet up and the TV on in the background. Somewhere free from physical clutter and where you can concentrate and be creative is likely to provide you with the best working environment.
#2 Stick To Your Working Hours
Keep to your contracted hours - sounds obvious I know, but now access from home is readily available, it is easy to just tick another thing off your list, and another, and another, and before you know it, you've done an extra two or three hours.
Although your work ethic is seriously commendable, doing this regularly will lead to you burning yourself out which is no good for anyone; least of all yourself.
Breaks are important to remember also. You might not be in the office, but your eyes still need a break away from the screen. Did anyone else's mum used to say "you'll get square eyes if you sit in front of that screen any longer" or was that just me?!. They may not go square, but they will get tired, dry and you might suffer from eye strain if you don't give them a rest.
#3 Set Yourself A Routine And Stick To It
Getting up, showered, dressed, having breakfast and logging on, at similar times each day will help you stay in a routine. You could always throw some exercise in there too if you're that way inclined. Routines turn into habits, and repeating a pattern of events means they are more likely to become second nature to you.
On an evening, try and go to bed at the same time each night too. If you get a good night's sleep it means you're more likely to have a productive day tomorrow. I know it's easy to get sucked into a box set on Netflix and before you know it, it's 3am, but your future working self will not thank you for it!
#4 Plan For Your Day Ahead
Go through your work diary and check what is on your to-do list. Set yourself mini-targets of what you want to achieve throughout the day and deadlines of when you want to achieve them by.
Setting yourself something to focus on and work towards will help with your concentration levels. Just because you aren't sat in the same office as your boss anymore, their expectations of you won't have changed so make sure you are still delivering the same high standards you always do.
#5 SPEAK To Your Colleagues Regularly
Not e-mail. Not text. Not smoke signals. Pick up the phone and talk, facetime, zoom - whatever it is you need to do to verbally communicate with your colleagues, it will do you the world of good.
If you're anything like me, you will miss the team environment and miss working closely together day by day. Yes, you went to the office to work, but you will also have enjoyed the face-to-face interactions, so it's important to still have those verbal interactions now you are working from home.
#6 Get Out And Get Some Fresh Air
Getting out on break or lunch will do wonders for your mindset. Grab your trainers and walk, jog, run around the block and get those happy hormones flowing.
Exercise is a great way to clear your head and has been proven to increase concentration and motivation. Plus it's free and easy so there is no reason not to.
Getting out and about will also get you some all-important Vitamin D to keep your immune system strong and combat tiredness and fatigue. It's win-win!
#7 Eat Healthily And Drinks Lots Of Water
Drinking lots of water can help with your energy levels and concentration.
Even mild dehydration can affect your mental and physical performance and so try as much as possible to stick to the 8 glasses of water a day to stay at the top of your game.
Eating healthily also has similar positive effects which we might benefit from. Studies show eating healthily can boost your mood, increase brain function and also reduce feelings of depression.
#8 Continue To Challenge Yourself
Now is a great time to start that project you've had on your list for a while. Or the change/improvement you've been wanting to implement; take this time to plan it out and put it into action.
Look into learning a new skill or completing an online training course to build on your skills and show your commitment to your trade.
These things will keep you engaged in what you do and stop the days from becoming monotonous.
#9 Set Expectations For Other People In The House
If you're accompanied at home throughout the day, try and set some expectations with the people at home with you, so they know you need them to respect your working space.
Of course, you don't have to ignore them all day, but let them know that just because you're at home, you still have a responsibility to get your job done. You aren't just hanging out, after all, you need to concentrate and deliver as if you were in the office.
#10 Take It One Day At A Time
This new way of working is very different for a lot of people and it's totally natural to struggle with feelings of isolation or loneliness.
Just take each day as it comes and know that this current situation won't last forever.
Reach out and get support from your employer or from your family and friends, or from a mental health charity and do what you need to do to keep yourself as happy and healthy as possible.
Whether you love it or hate it, we might be in this scenario for a while yet so please, please don't struggle on, if there is something you can do to make your working life easier.
What helps you with working from home? Leave a comment and let know!
Take care of yourselves lovelies. Until next time.
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