We have all become accustomed to the working from home lifestyle due to the necessity of social distancing during 2020, yet there can be a battle to find that balance between productivity and efficiency through the working day whilst maintaining health and wellbeing. For many of us pre-pandemic there was no thought of a home office, no allocated space for a desk let alone multiple spaces for the whole family. While working from home definitely has its benefits there can be a lack of boundaries on both sides making it difficult if you don’t have a defined workspace. Here are our easy tips for a productive work from home day. Whether it’s enforcing a clear routine or taking a mid-day walk, these working from home tips will help to get tasks done efficiently and effectively whilst staying sane and healthy whilst doing so.
1. Schedule your day
Make sure you maintain a clear structure to your day. Start by blocking out a lunch break and remember to walk away from your screen during that time. Whether it’s using your outlook calendar or writing down your to do lists, setting out your tasks and goals for the day and week will help you stay on track. Try to schedule online meetings for an appropriate time and duration. Just because you have saved additional time without the physical travel doesn’t mean back-to-back meetings are productive. Zoom fatigue is real and when communicating with colleagues you want to be engaged and focus. Take regular breaks, if you feel you are getting distracted from the task in hand, this can often be a signal from your brain that you need to take one.
2. Create your commute
There are definitely many benefits of being able to roll out of bed and be sat at your desk with in 5 minutes in the morning- mainly the extra sleep. However there is the down side to being sat at your screen instantaneously and the fact you are not allowing your brain and body enough time to wake up and prepare for the day ahead. If your morning routine doesn’t involve walking the dog, or doing the school run beforehand create a reason to pop outside before you log on. Take a brisk walk round the block or nip to the corner shop for some milk giving you that 5 minutes of exercise. There’s nothing like a breath of crisp fresh air to re-invigorate yourself.
3. Maintain a morning routine
As tempting as it is to remain in pyjamas all day it’s important to continue with your usual routine, setting yourself up for a working day whether your camera will be on or off for zoom calls. There’s lots of research to show that our settings and surroundings can affect the way we work. Our brain is used to certain signals indicating that we are either preparing for home or work mode, if these morning habits no longer exist and then there is no physical change in space either, the day can seem like one long continuation without focus. Maintain a morning routine putting your working from home uniform on and marking the start of the working day. Whilst our silk shirts maybe having a little R&R we will still be levelling up on loungewear with the Floral Cotton T-Shirt and joggers. Perfect for adding a pop of colour for virtual meetings whilst remaining cozy and comfortable.
4. Enhance your environment
Back at the start of 2020 home offices seemed a luxury, only a necessity for those that were self-employed, running their own business from home or a free-lancer. How things have changed in a matter of months, our working home environment has never been so important. Not just for productivity but for health and well-being. Our comfy adjustable office desk chairs were quickly swapped for bar stools, sofas or dining room chairs. Make sure your day space is not only away from distractions and disruptions but also that it promotes a healthy environment. Remember to take those breaks whether it’s taking the dog out for a walk or running errands it’s important to mimic the reality of a day walking around the office or communicating with colleagues in the kitchen. The working from home setting can make everything accessible from just one room where normally it would be over floors or buildings. Ensure your workspace is somewhere you can walk away from once 5 o’clock comes around, giving you both mental and physical space between work and home ensuring those lines don’t unnecessarily blur.
5. Avoid multitasking
As appealing as it is to put the laundry on, answer emails, feed the dog, schedule a zoom meeting all at the same time it is not productive to switch between so many things at once. Allocate your household chores for your scheduled breaks throughout the day. This will give you motivation and focus to plough through the current work task in hand. There are many unavoidable disruptions through-out the day as it is like the post-man and the dog barking, so make sure to take control of and limit any others that aren’t essential during those working hours.