5 Tips for Working from Home Effectively
It’s safe to say that things have been pretty crazy lately. Our thoughts are with anyone whose futures might seem uncertain at the moment, and we give our thanks to health professionals and those who work in the service industries that are keeping our communities running in the meantime. If you’re fortunate to have a job that can proceed from home in these tough times, we have a few tips and tricks to making the transition a little easier!
1.Maintain Your Usual Routine!
Keeping to your typical routine is paramount in staying productive throughout the day. It’s best to wake up at a similar time to your office days, but I get if you might want to sleep in for the duration of your commute. Continue on with your typical morning: washing up, making coffee, preparing for the day ahead. It’s generally recommended to get dressed just like you would leave the house. Perhaps a full face of make-up might not be necessary, but if ‘look good, feel good’ works for you, why not?! Whatever you choose, we definitely suggest getting changed out of your pyjamas!
From changing out of your pyjamas to avoiding working in bed, these have to do with with the idea of maintaining your sleep hygiene—we have an article that goes into a little more detail about that! The basis is that you have to keep work and rest separate. This way, the opposing mindsets won’t interfere with each other, even if it’s all happening in the same space: lingering sleepiness won’t creep into your work and the constant whirring of your working brain won’t keep you up at night.
Where do you go to work if staying in bed is out of the question? Do you have a desk to work at or will you be setting up shop at the dining table? Wherever it is, try your best to keep that space clutter-free to aid focusing, and easy to clear out especially if you’ll need that space for other things at the end of the day. Bonus points if your home office has an amazing view.
With social distancing demanding us all to stay in, remember to be firm about the workspace being only for work! Don’t eat at your desk, take a break from that spot when lunch time comes and opt for a change of scenery … even if it’s just the seat across.
Make sure to optimise your workspace, too. Working on a laptop is generally not so great for your posture—when your elbows are in the ideal orientation for typing, your neck ends up extending downwards. Investing in a laptop stand, keyboard and mouse, or connecting your laptop to a monitor could help to alleviate any pressure stemming from sitting with a laptop all day.
Believe it or not, it’s easy to end up overworking when you’re working from home, especially when you’re already in the groove and don’t want to lose it, or due to misplaced guilt feeling like you have to be available without notice. However, even office workers should have this habit ingrained—you are allowed to take a break from your desk to stretch out your body every so often. Whereas it might usually be water-cooler time or a coffee run, options may be a little more limited at home. Having an app that reminds me to drink water (WaterMinder) or just to stand or breathe (built-in on the Apple Watch) helps to give me a short break when I don’t have coworkers that might pop over for a chat.
If you’ve been behind a screen all day, shut that off and get some fresh air (even if it’s just from an open window right now). Try not to jump straight into another digital or screen activity. Occupy yourself in alternate ways for a little while: clean up whatever clutter has been nagging at you from the corner of your eye, prepare dinner or get through a chapter or two of your latest read. Waiting until you’ve established a clear marker that the work day has ended before turning on Netflix or YouTube will give your eyes and your brain a little time to breathe. This is respite from the constant strain of staring at a screen that a commute home would typically afford, but we would lack in the current climate. Remember to take care of yourself!
Does your job allow you to work from home? Let us know if you have any tips to share!