Handy Tips For Working From Home

1 April 2020 by Lifetime

Handy Tips For Working From Home

As much of the country settles in to a new way of working, we're all finding out some of the challenges that can come with working from home. Here's a handy guide of a few tips we've picked up after our first week.

1. Create A Workspace

We’re in this for a while, so you may as well create yourself a comfortable space. Take the time to set up your seat, desk and monitors at comfortable, safe heights for good posture, back and eye health. Whether it’s a desk, the dining room table or your bedside table, do your best to use phone books under your monitor or whatever is around to position yourself well. Pick some flowers from the garden, blue tack up some artwork, grab some family photos and settle in.

2. Get Dressed

Yes, day pyjamas are comfortable. And it’s not like they’re your bed pyjamas so some might say they’re totally valid working from home attire… but following some sense of normal routine is good for our frame of mind - and PJs make us think “bedtime”. So dress comfy, maybe a nice shirt if you have video conferencing, and if you want to have some fun join in on the #formalfriday trend doing the rounds and pull out your best for Friday’s video conferencing.

3. Set Boundaries

Distractions can be incredibly unproductive, you’ve just built up a complex idea on your head, you’re chatting through the details with a colleague, making notes on how you’ll execute then from the hallway comes “Muuuuummmm, where are my Elsa socks??”, and all that was constructed in your head falls to the wayside as you deal with sockgate. You come back to the computer only to spend the next 10 minutes trying to remember where you were at. Communicate clearly with those in your bubble the times you are - and aren’t - available; set those boundaries. But then be sure to have your head in family time, not reading your work emails on your phone, when its monopoly time.

4. Stay Motivated

Start your day by writing a to-do list, leaving some time for those unexpected tasks that fly into your inbox. Evernote is a handy notebook app that can work across all devices and allows you to create notebooks (categories) and notes (items within categories) tick boxes, reminders, add images and more. Tick off your items as you go and set key project goals for your week. You’ll get to Friday feeling accomplished and proud of your week’s achievements.

5. Get Digitally Social

Isolation can be, well, isolating. We are more digitally connected than ever before, so be sure to reach out to people with text, email, social media, phone calls and video calls. Share pics with your colleagues and friends of your workspace and furry companions, share ideas about fun family games, and set challenges you can all join in on in your own bubbles – like learning a new language, or setting yourself exercise targets.

6. Play Some Music

Unlike in an office, at home there are less people to complain about your taste music. Free your ears of the headphones, and if your fellow bubblers don’t mind, blast some of your favourite tunes to keep that work motivation pumping. Spotify have free accounts with ads, of you can get premium with no ads free for a month (convenient) and with over 50 million songs you’ll probably find some tunes you like.

7. Keep Time

Working from home has some sweet commute advantages, traffic is often light between the bedroom and the office. But it can be easy for work life, when so accessible, to creep into home life. Clock-in and clock-out as per your normal schedule – work an 8:30am – 5:30pm shift? Try and keep to it and maintain as much semblance of normal routine as possible. This should make it a little easier when we all get back to the real world also, so yes, leave that alarm on.

8. Put The Snacks Down & Move More

Chances are that the pantry just got a whole lot closer to your desk and the allure can be strong. Before we know it, we can be wandering around the kitchen like a zombie, snacking on all those panic-bought chips. Now more than ever, a bit of discipline will be required to ensure your physical health doesn’t suffer while homebound. If you have a bubble buddy – hold each other to account on this to stay strong together. And be sure to get out and move each day – Les Mills have free classes on TV, there are a bunch of great websites and apps for home based workouts using no equipment, but even better than all of that is a bit of fresh air with a walk or run around the block. This could be the start of that marathon training you always planned on doing…

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