For those of us who are new to it, transitioning to a work from home lifestyle naturally can be quite challenging. Multiply this across teams who are having to find new ways of operating and this requires nothing short of a paradigm shift in the way we as organisations work.
As #WFH becomes the new normal across the UK, we thought we’d share some of the best practises and tips to help us all stay sane, focused and productive during this time of adjustment. Let’s crack on with it…
Start your day right
For many people, the morning commute is an essential part of transforming into your work self. Embrace the fact that you don’t need to commute to work and use this time for a new morning routine. Try meditating to clear your mind, a home exercise to get the juices flowing or double down on your breakfast game to fuel up and get ready to hit the ground running.
Sticking to a solid sleep routine is often the first thing to go in times like these, so now you’re working from home it’s more important than ever to establish a consistent sleep/wake regime. And while wearing your jim-jams all day might be tempting, getting dressed for the occasion will always help to support a work mindset. Sorry team.
Plan your day
While we’ll naturally need to allow for some degree of flexibility, it really helps to set your working hours and create a list of what you need to get done each day. Besides, who doesn’t love that hit of dopamine when you get to cross something off your list, amirite? Just be careful not to set unrealistic expectations — stick to a manageable amount of daily tasks and grow from there.
Pro tip: Consider setting focus sprints for no more than 90 mins at a time for different tasks throughout the day where you focus on one thing and one thing only. You’ll be surprised how quick that time goes once you reach that state of flow. Don’t forget to account for a few breaks and get some fresh air once a day to clear your head.
Once you’ve planned out your day, let your family/friends know you’ll be working at certain times and you’ll get back to them during lunch or after work. Put your phone on silent or leave it in another room to avoid distracting notifications and getting sucked into checking social feeds. Allocate dedicated times in the morning and afternoon to check your phone for updates.
Be careful not to overwhelm yourself by checking the news every hour, especially when not all of the information available is factual or particularly uplifting.
Own your environment
We swear by creating a dedicated space to work from. Yes, that means banishing all thought of creating a bed-desk. Ideally try to find a space free from clutter where you can be comfortable working for long periods of time with as much access to natural lighting and fresh air as possible.
Utilising equipment such as a commercial riser for laptops is important for maintaining good posture. If all else fails stack up some books until your eyebrows are level with your screen. Using an external keyboard and mouse can help to reduce repetitive strain injuries if you would otherwise use a trackpad all day.
Create a little ambience with some white noise to mask out those annoying background sounds or listen to instrumental music to aid productivity. Maybe stay away from that “MEGA BANGERS” playlist, at least until 5pm.
Be aware of procrastination
While it can be important to create a clean working environment — beware of the many guises of procrastination! It can be all too tempting at times to do household chores and tidy up clutter when working from home. Keep sight of higher value tasks and be mindful of when you are getting distracted by things that can wait until later. Doing this could be a sign you just need a short break, so bite the bullet, take a break and then get back into it.
Out and about
Don’t glue yourself to screen all day – short breaks are beneficial. Get outside if not self-isolating. You don’t have to interact with others but enjoy a walk with some fresh air. Play music, podcasts – escape the constant stream of news for a little while. Headphones in, music on, world away.
May find that you are more productive once you have figured your process out.
In times like these, it’s easy to feel a little isolated; thats why it’s more important than ever to stay connected. We’re all in the same boat so be sure to reach out to coworkers or friends to check in and keep everyone’s morale high. Next Wednesday 8th April, we’re hosting a community get together on Zoom. Join the call from 12-1pm, we miss you guys and it’d be great to hang out.
Be kind to yourself!
As with the previous point, this shouldn’t be understated. These are unprecedented times and everyone is figuring out what works best for them professionally and personally. There will be good days and there will be bad days. What matters most is our health, both physical and mental. If you’re struggling to meet deadlines or getting stressed about little things don’t beat yourself up.