With the invention of the personal computer, working from home has now become increasingly popular. So much so that there has been a remarkable increase in people remote working in the last 4 to 5 years with 1.7 million people in the UK now reporting to work mainly from home.
However, with the global outbreak of Covid-19 affecting all industries, many of us, up until a month or two ago, would have never considered the possibility that many office professionals would be forced into doing just that, Working from Home (WFH).
Adjusting to working from home is never easy. Though there are obvious benefits to remote working including increased flexibility, lack of commute and no water cooler chat (if that isn’t your thing!), it can be a struggle to be productive if you don’t quickly find a routine. While it is hard to find that sweet spot, here are several tips and tricks which may help you along the way.
1. Keep up your Morning Routine.
This may be easier said than done but keeping a semblance of your usual morning routine will help prepare you for a productive day – be it going for a run or making yourself a cup of coffee, these habits that you usually keep will go a long way in getting you into a work mindset. This involves getting dressed; it may sound silly but attempting to work in your pyjamas is probably a bad idea.
2. Stick to a Schedule
The “flexibility” of working from home can be so enticing. Sleeping in or procrastinating because you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck seems like the dream but, in reality, it can have a negative effect on your mental health and productivity levels. On the other hand, don’t allow yourself to be overworked into the night. Set your business hours and follow them religiously. This includes taking your full lunch break.
3. Create a Designated Workspace
There have been a lot of studies highlighting the benefits of movement in the workplace. Changing your workstation has been proven to help productivity and morale. However, one of the major downsides of working from home is that you end up working in an environment cluttered with personal distractions. It is much more difficult to concentrate when your TV, games and social media are all so readily available. Therefore, its best to create a dedicated workspace and stick to it. Looking to design your own Home Office? Architectural Digest might give you some ideas. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted onto the couch where you’re within arm’s reach of the TV remote.
4. Set Ground Rules
This ties in neatly with Tip #3. When you have chosen your designated space, you need to set some ground rules with either your roommates or your family members. Just because you’re at home does not mean your available for a chat or domestic chores. When you’re in your “home office”, you are not to be disturbed.
5. Take Breaks
This may seem counter-intuitive, but research has suggested that taking small breaks will help your productivity and creativity levels. If you don’t create a good work-life balance you won’t be able to commit fully to your work. This doesn’t mean checking in on your social media accounts but stepping away from your computer every now and again; our eyes weren’t made to be looking at a screen 24/7.
6. Keep Connected
Working from home can be extremely lonely so it’s good to stay connected with your colleagues. There are many ways to do this but one of the best ways is using a video conferencing app such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. Communication is an important part of any job so don’t resign yourself to being isolated. This way you can catch up with your team and/or clients. You don’t necessarily have to talk about work; we’re social creatures after all.
7. Eat Healthily
Snacking is oh so easy when you’re working from home. Having a fridge stockpiled with your own food can be a recipe for disaster. Though it’s nice not having to watch out for nametags and worrying if you’re using someone else’s milk, planning a healthy lunch and eating fruit is beneficial. A research paper published by the British Journal of Health Psychology indicates that eating healthily helps mental health and concentration. You can always reward yourself at the end of the day with a treat.
Sitting at your desk for hours on end is now considered to have adverse effects not only on your productivity but also on your health. Exercising is a great way of keeping fit as well as keeping you motivated and engaged. If you can’t go out for a walk or run, there are numerous online fitness classes you can sign up to and take part in from the comfort of your own home. At a minimum, try stretching occasionally as this will help you maintain a good posture.
9. Stay Positive
Finally, stay upbeat! Adjusting to working from home can be difficult so give yourself time to find your own rhythm. It has its challenges so go easy on yourself and embrace the flexibility of working remotely.
Get in touch with the Us&Co team today
Our office spaces are currently closed as a response to the global situation, however we are still more than happy to discuss future co-working and private office memberships. We have virtual 360° floor-by-floor tours of all three of our spaces (London Monument, Stratford and Dublin). You can contact us through any of the means below, and we will be sure to let you know when we’re re-opening our doors.
London Monument co-working space
7 Harp Lane EC3R 6DP
Phone us: 02030313535
London Stratford co-working space
11 Burford Road E15 2ST (newly opened)
Phone us: 020 3031 3535