February 18th, 2021
Get Work From Home Working For You
This time a year ago many of us had never experienced work from home – and we couldn’t have predicted how normal it would become. Whether work from home was a conscious choice or a consequence of current events, working from home can be a great way to reassert your work/life balance.
Work from home has changed the way work feels entirely; when breaks can include an hour on the sofa or a brisk dog walk and your uniform can be pyjamas (no one’s going to know) it is worth thinking about ways we can adjust to this new mode of work.
It has to be said that distance from our co-workers can make the heart grow fonder; with little glimpses into our colleagues’ home lives from ‘One second, the post is here’ to ‘Do you want to meet my cat?’ – it’s time to make work from home the best experience it can be.
Here are seven ways to take ownership of your home working set up and make work from home, work for you:
1. Routine Is Your Friend
Routine is made of habits, habits that help our productivity, our wellbeing and our happiness. Giving yourself a structure, a mimicry of the one we would experience in the office, is vital to a successful work from home set up.
Layout your day and stick to the schedule that you outline, every day needn’t be the same but start the day at the same time, make sure you have lunch and make a hydration a habit and you’ll find success will follow.
Check out this TED Talk on how we can change tiny habits in order to make your every day a little bit better:
2. Work From The (Home) Office
Creating a separate space just for work is a great way to draw the line between work at home. Sure, working from the sofa sounds like a treat until you start feeling guilty for watching Friends over lunch.
Having a home office, a spare room with a desk, or a nook under the stairs – any space you can separate out will help you keep your wires from getting crossed, after all, it’s called work at home not sleep at work.
Have you considered remortgage might be the solution for creating spaces that bring you joy? Check out our article on remortgage for renovation here.
3. Breaks Are Important
Breaks that stimulate your brain can reduce stress, increase happiness and even help you live longer.
A 2018 study found that 23% of British people work overtime daily (!) meaning that nearly a quarter of us were working more than we should before the office became home where starting early, finishing late and missing lunch all become incredibly easy to do.
Now that work-at-home is a regular feature of modern life, breaks, like routine are an important and beneficial part of your day that you should remember to take – for your health and for your happiness.
Taking a walk on your break can be good for your productivity and your health; fresh air increases the amount of Serotonin that our brains produce – the hormone that makes us happy – which means a walk outside will make you happier on a chemical level.
Coupled with the endorphins that make us happy from exercise, a walk around the block before work or over lunch will lift your spirits.
More than this, getting outside gives us a much-needed change of pace, an opportunity to stretch and relieve the tension of hunching over a desk and boosts our immune systems, meaning we stay healthy without trying.
4. Socialise (Safely)
It can be monotonous when you can’t go anywhere or see anyone. It’s important whilst we experience these unprecedented and potentially isolating times that we keep in touch with our friends and loved ones, however, we can.
Video call someone you love this week, tell them about your day and listen to theirs.
5. Retain Your Work Day
That is to say, separate work from home whilst you work-from-home. Your workday has a start time and an end time and it’s worth remembering and actively acknowledging these whilst you work from home.
It can be easy to log on early or work late when you’ve cut out the commute but this is a gateway method to blur the lines between home life and work life which can ultimately remove any semblance of balance you had previously.
Out of sight, out of mind – it’s a phrase most of us are familiar with but now is the time to act on it.
When the end of the day arrives, leaving work spread out over the dining room table or the kitchen side (or your office, we see you tip number 6) is a sure-fire way to let work seep into the personal.
Having a clear divide between the working day and your own time gives you time to regenerate and will ultimately make your work better as a result, bringing fresh eyes to it in the morning.
6. Work Smarter, Not Harder
There are lots of ways you can maximise your efficiency and productivity without actually working heaps harder. Using tools and tricks to make your life and your work easier is one of the tangible highlights to being outside of the office.
Here are some tools to make your life easier:
Trello is a free organisation tool, you can lay out everything you have to do on different boards, in separate lists – attach files directly onto the task and interact with team members all right on the platform.
Trello is a great tool if you’re a visual worker, you can label everything and move it physically from active to done – it’s a rewarding platform for those who like immediate gratification in their work and it’ll keep you on task!
GitHub is essential for many IT contractors. It’s a platform for the IT community to build and develop together.
From open source to business coding, it’s got a use for anyone that deals with code.
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