Working from home is one of the ways the country is helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19, minimising the risk of coming into contact with a carrier of the disease. Nearly a quarter of Britain’s workforce are now working away from the office, and it is becoming increasingly popular.* However, to some, this is out of the ordinary and, for many, it will take some time to adapt to a new environment for work.
So, what are some of the best ways to stay focused, motivated and healthy whilst working from home?
- Wake up! – You may find yourself with extra time without the usual commute to work. However, if you aim to wake up around the same time every day, this will help you prepare yourself for the day ahead and can improve your internal clock and sleep overall. Being less tired will make it easier to concentrate.
- Setting up your workspace – try to set up your work area away from your relaxation zone. This will help you keep work and relaxation time separate; this gives you a productive space to work and will help you switch off at the end of the day when you move to the sofa! If there are others in the house, which in the current situation, there are likely to be, try to find a space where you’re less likely to be disturbed or interrupted.
- Stay connected – whilst working in the office, you are more than likely to engage in conversation with colleagues, catching up on the weekend’s events over a coffee. However, working from home has the potential to be quite lonely; you could spend the whole day without speaking to anyone, which could become isolating. So, instead of emailing your colleague, you could video call instead using Zoom or FaceTime; this can be much more social (and productive) than emailing. If you usually go out for a lunchtime walk with a colleague from work, make sure you still get that walk in. Or, why not turn your morning coffee break into a virtual one (not the coffee part!)?
- Handling group meetings – participating in group meetings over the phone can be difficult, ending up with speaking over each other. It is helpful to have someone host the meeting to avoid interruptions or people talking over one another. This should help to make meetings more productive and efficient.
- Set some goals – when you begin work on a morning, prioritise your workload. Writing a to-do list everyday will help you stay focused on your main jobs for the day and will help you to hold yourself accountable.
- It’s break time! – make sure you are taking regular breaks away from your screen. If you’re not self-isolating, why not go for a walk down the lane on your lunch break? This will help you mentally prepare for the afternoon ahead and could even increase your productivity later on in the day! If you’re staying indoors, look for online fitness or yoga classes to do on your lunch break or first thing in the morning!
- Finish your day right – it is important that you finish your day at the same time as you would do if you were in the office. Set up for your day tomorrow so you have the right mind-set to start again in the morning.
And last of all, stay positive!