The working world has taken some unexpected turns in 2020. Working from home has become the new normal, as well as remote meetings. It seems for many organisations at least, that this trend will continue long into the future.
There are many opportunities that arise from working from home: no commuting; more time to complete home chores; travel and lunch financial savings; better work life balance. There are however, some down sides too, including increased feelings of isolation, work overload, and job dissatisfaction.
1) Set your work hours (and stick to them!)
It’s important to set your work hours and to stick to them. This means having a clear start and finish time to your day. This will help you maintain your work routine and also allow you to enjoy your ‘down time’ at home.
It’s easy to feel like you should be available all the time when working from home. However, this isn’t the most productive way of working, and more importantly isn’t good for your mental well-being. So work during your most productive hours of the day.
2) Get dressed, as if you were ‘going to work’
Getting dressed in the morning sets the mood for the rest of the day and marks a clear starting point - dress smart, work smart. Well, it’s not essential to dress smart! But try to wear clothes that are comfortable while also look presentable in your video meetings.
By getting dressed in your work attire, you are psychologically getting ready for work. The change of clothes represents a change of mindset. When you take off your work clothes and get into your jogging bottoms, you are essentially clocking out.
3) Eat healthy meals
Your mental well-being is influenced by what you eat, and in these testing times it's important to be kind to ourselves, so start your day right with a healthy breakfast. Fruits, yogurts, nuts and oats are all recommended. Keep a water bottle on you throughout the day to stay hydrated.
While working from home, it can be tempting to have numerous tea and snack breaks, especially if you're working in the kitchen! Although we recommend taking regular breaks, try not to overload on caffeine or sugary foods. Set your breaks and prepare your food in advance if possible.
4) Take regular breaks!
Take advantage of the opportunities that working from home presents: sit in the garden with a coffee on a sunny day, put your laundry in the washing machine, empty your dishwasher, prepare your dinner for later. By taking short breaks throughout the day, you can get through your weekly chores while ‘at work’ - giving you more time to relax on the weekend!
Take short breaks every 40-60 minutes, depending on your level of concentration, and try to keep these breaks less than 20 minutes. During the time you are working try to focus on one task for each 40-60 minute block.
5) Leave the house (everyday)
Starting to get cabin fever? Remember, you’re working from home, not a prison - you can leave the house! In fact, you should try to leave the house at least once a day.
Why not take a stroll round the block to replace your morning commute? Not only will this help you keep a routine, but walking is also a form of exercise. There are many benefits of walking including: lighter mood, loss of weight, strengthen muscles, and improving sleep.
6) Have a dedicated workspace
While working from home, your house may begin to feel more like an office than a place of comfort and relaxation. That’s why it’s important to separate your work from your personal life. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a desk and to have all your work materials on that desk - if you don’t have a desk the next best is the kitchen table (depending on your living situation).
If you’re working from your bedroom, avoid working while on your bed or any other personal space - the desk is your office. This will help when trying to ‘turn off’ in the evenings.
7) Listen to the radio
The radio is your friend while working from home, especially if you live on your own or have little contact with other members of your household during the day. There may be days when you hardly speak to anyone, so the radio will provide you with some human communication.
Try to listen to a radio station that is suitable for working - my personal favourite is BBC Radio 6. You can also listen to a podcast if you're able to concentrate on your work while listening.
8) Socialise (even if only over the phone)
It is completely normal to feel a little disconnected from people when working from home. There are many ways to stay connected with friends and colleagues remotely. Set some time during lunch to call a friend, schedule a video meeting with colleagues instead of just emailing, or message your colleagues on WhatsApp. You could even meet up with a friend for lunch, just remember to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
If you’re feeling particularly lonely or isolated and feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are services out there such as Samaritans that aim to combat loneliness.
9) Exercise (daily)
One of the most common excuses for not being able to exercise is ‘a lack of time’. Well, now that you’re working from home, you can use the time saved from not commuting to exercise. There are many benefits of exercising on a daily basis including: up to a 30% lower risk of depression, increased energy levels, a 30% lower risk of early death, up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer, and many more.
Whether you’re going for a cycle, jog, or doing a home workout, a 30-60 minute block of exercise is a perfect way to split up the day and clear your mind. It can also double up as a social activity!
10) Invest in Technology
Last but not least, invest in technology.
Digital meeting platforms such as Convene help you easily create a virtual working environment even when at home. Now with video conferencing, Convene is an end-to-end meeting solution which allows you to plan, meet, and do all in one integrated platform..
To find out more about how Convene can transform your meeting process, or to try Convene for free, Contact Us using the form below.