Working from home – making it work
As everyone is spending a lot of time at home at the moment, it’s important to maintain a positive living environment in order to feel happy and comfortable in your surroundings – especially when your home has suddenly become your office too. You may open your laptop with good intentions, but then find it difficult to concentrate when you’re surrounded by mess, half-completed tasks, or even half-eaten plates of food. Luckily, there are positive daily habits we can adopt to keep our homes in order and our minds focused when working from home.
- Make your bed every morning
Something as simple as making your bed can have a positive impact on the day ahead. It’ll take you less than a minute and leave you feeling productive before you’ve even started the day!
- Get into a morning routine
Even when you’re working from home, it’s important to have a morning routine to ease you into the day. Get changed out of your pyjamas to help you get into the right frame of mind for work, have a coffee before checking your emails, or even put on your shoes and do a lap around the block as a substitute for your regular commute! These are all really simple steps to prepare you for the working day, rather than rolling out of bed, bleary-eyed, and heading straight to your laptop.
- Choose a dedicated work space
As much as we all love our bed, consider it a sacred space associated with relaxing rather than a makeshift office. Set yourself up with proper table space, a decent chair that’ll support your back and as few distractions around you as possible to give yourself a fighting chance of focusing on work, rather than anything (and everything!) else that’s going on around you.
- Silence the silence
Without your colleagues around making their usual noise (work-related, of course!), working from home can sometimes be a little too quiet. Listen to your favourite radio station, a podcast, some music, or have the TV on quietly for some background sound. You might find it easier to concentrate when the only sound isn’t just you, your thoughts and the tapping of the keyboard!
- Take a break
Break up your day. Call a friend, video chat with a relative, eat lunch, read a book – take some time out to NOT look at anything work-related. Having frequent breaks will allow you to recharge and be focused when you return to ‘work’. But, make sure you wash up or load the dishwasher after meal breaks; don’t clutter your workspace with crumb-covered plates and an array of half-full mugs.
- Schedule time for housework
It might not be a great idea to decide to put on a wash halfway through a task or start to randomly dust your cupboard tops in the middle of the afternoon. Plan and dedicate an hour of your day to household jobs rather than doing little bits here and there throughout the working day ie. stay focused!
- Breathe easy
Look after the air quality of your home. Investing in an air purifier allows you to control the air you breathe, as it captures and filters harmful particles – particularly useful for people with allergies. And if the Great British weather allows it, why not go outside! Even if you just stick your head out into the garden or take a quick stroll down the road, getting a bit of fresh air is always a good idea.
- Organise Yourself
It’s important to keep that work-life balance by not letting the work element take over your home. At the end of the working day, organise your work bits, box them up and put them somewhere you don’t have to see them until the next morning or week. Out of sight, out of mind!