With Covid-19 aka the Coronavirus sweeping the world, social distancing is a phrase we have come to learn and know well.
And for a lot of us, social distancing extends to work. But if you’re one of the many people that has suddenly found themselves working from home, and you aren’t used to it, the change to your ways of working can be disruptive.
So how do you remain productive, look after your health and stay sane working from home, with all that is going on?
Here are some tips for working from home successfully.
Choose your desk position carefully
With social distancing and travel restrictions in place we aren’t getting outside as much as we would like to.
So, choose a spot for your desk that has a view or is next to a window that lets in a lot of natural light. It will make you feel happier and you’ll get the light you need to remain alert all day.
Don’t choose your bedroom – the lure of the duvet might seem too much if you hit a mid-afternoon lull!
Set your office hours
If you’re normally a 9-5 office worker, chances are your hours will be the same even though you’re working at home.
But don’t get into the habit of the alarm going off at 8.55am and you crawling to your computer half asleep. Without the dash to work you’ll take longer to wake up and feel alert, so you need to build this into your morning.
Why not get up at the same time as you normally would, and use those extra hours to exercise or enjoy a leisurely breakfast? What about using the time to learn something new or read that book that’s been sitting in your house for months?
Allow yourself the time to wake up and you’ll hit 9am eager to get into that inbox.
Ban the TV
The TV is a huge distraction. It sucks you in – once it’s on that’s it. You’ll find you’ve half watched 4 property programmes and completed only half the work you needed to do.
By all means put it on for 20 or 30 minutes over your lunchtime, or catch up on the news, but trust me, you don’t want to turn it on first thing in the morning.
Turn on the radio
Whilst TV is a no-no in my book, the radio is a yes-yes. It makes you feel connected to the outside world without the same level of distraction that the TV has.
It’s the one thing that can make you feel sociable in spite of all this social distancing and the music is uplifting.
Take regular breaks
Sitting in one spot all day isn’t great for our concentration or our circulation. And without an office to walk around and colleagues to chat to, you’re going to have to find other reasons to take a break.
Work in spurts of an hour or two then do something else for 10 minutes. Make a coffee, unstack the dishwasher, phone a colleague. Just do something to take you away from your computer and allow your brain to rest. You’ll be more productive if you take short breaks often.
I’m not going to lie; this one is hard when you’re working from home and we’re not allowed to go to the gym. Dig deep and find that motivation though, and you’ll feel a hundred times better.
A 30-minute HITT class on YouTube is a great lunchtime pick me up or a great way to ‘close’ your working day before relaxing for the evening.
Keep those snacks healthy
With the sedentary nature of working from home and the limited amount of exercise you can do right now, we need to keep those snacks healthy.
An entire packet of biscuits can be eaten in the blink of an eye – don’t do it!
Sign up to Zoom or Skype – stay connected
If we not seeing our colleagues or friends in person, the next best thing is video conference calling. Show everyone your smiling face and you’ll make both theirs and your, day better.
Stay off social media
Too much social media is bad for the mind at any time but right now, we could all do without the high level of scaremongering, fake news and drama. Get your news updates from trusted sources and ban too much social media for now. Your mind will thank you for it.
Put these tips in place and you’ll find you’ll enjoying working from home in no time. You may even find you get more done without the distraction of the office!
If you’re working from home and have put any of these tips in place, please let me know. Let me know what works and what doesn’t for you.