As many of us make the transition to working from home, it can be challenging to get into the swing of the new routine.
You might find you sit in a chair for longer periods of time without noticing, get distracted by pets and loved ones, or that the fridge is constantly calling your name.
Here are some tips to stay focussed, productive and healthy when working from home.
Maintain regular and consistent hours
When you’re working at home, it can be difficult to switch between work and personal life. It’s easy to fall into a habit of starting early or finishing late - opening up that laptop as soon as you wake up and not closing it until you’re back in bed.
Establish regular work hours each day, and stick to them. If it helps you could try setting an alarm for the end of the workday to remind you to log-off from work and unwind.
You could also schedule in something else to mark the end of the day, for example a call with a friend, an exercise class at home, or a walk with the dog.
Get dressed and prepare for the workday as you normally would
It might seem like a simple tip, but it’s a crucial one. The simple act of taking a shower, brushing your hair, cleaning your face and changing clothes serves as a signal that it’s time to wake up and get things done.
You don’t need to put on a suit for your Zoom meetings, but by all means if it motivates you then go for it! Establishing a morning routine instead of rolling out of bed and going straight to the computer will help set you up for a productive day.
Use your commute time for self-care
Block out times for a break
Without the usual distractions of the workplace, such as colleagues dropping by to ask a question or the morning coffee run, it’s easy to be consumed by your work. Before you know it, several hours might pass without getting out of your chair.
If this happens to you, make sure to set reminders to pause and take a break. Your concentration, productivity and wellbeing will all benefit from regular breaks away from your screen.
Use break time to go for a walk around the block, get extra cuddles with your pets or get on top of a load of washing. Whatever takes you away from the screen to reset.
While you’re at home, you might find you don’t move as much as you would in the office.
Find ways to keep moving throughout the day. Use your break time to get up and stretch or walk to the kitchen for a drink, or go for a walk around the block while you’re on a phone call.
Set clear expectations and goals
Talk to your manager and agree on clear goals and expectations of the tasks you need to complete each day or week, and stick to a plan.
Make sure there’s a regular catch-up booked in with your manager or team to check-in.
It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re not in an office with your colleagues. Stay connected with your co-workers and the wider organisation with some tips below.
- Pick up the phone to make a call rather than sending an email
- Use a video conferencing platform (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype etc) for individual and team meetings. Some teams might even like to set up a regular video call each day or once a week to check in with each other.
- Check-in on the latest news and announcements from your organisation.
Set boundaries with your loved ones
You might find an unwelcome distraction comes in the form of friends or family who want to drop by for a chat. Set clear working hours and let others know not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency.
We hope this helps you find a routine that works for you. If you have any other tips and tricks that work for you, please feel free to share them with us on Facebook.