Check out our simple tips to help you remain safe, well and productive while working from home.
Looking after your physical wellbeing:
Allocate a specific workspace within your home for your working day, such as a dedicated desk or surface in your kitchen, spare room or maybe even a study/home office. Wherever it might be, creating a specific workspace environment will help maintain a work/life balance and will support you to mentally switch off when you finish your working day.
Being organised boosts productivity and focus. Avoid clutter while working and take a moment to tidy up your work area during comfort breaks. Also, try to keep power cords and cables off the floor and away from common footfall areas. Using old shoe boxes and toilet roll inserts is an excellent way of keeping cords and cables together neatly.
Typical office chairs are designed with comfort and lumbar support in-mind, therefore use the best chair you have that will keep you aligned adequately throughout the day and think about your posture and comfort. Cushions can also be used to provide additional lumbar support if needed.
Exercise and get some fresh air
When busy working, it can be very easy to get stuck in your seat and let the time pass you by, especially if you don’t have the usual distractions of an office environment and become comfortable in your workspace at home. Ensure you have access to a clock or sight of your on-screen clock to keep track of time and set yourself a regular schedule to get up and stretch at least once every hour. Try to get outside, even just to walk around the block and get some fresh air.
Set up your workspace by a window so you get lots of natural light during the day. If this isn’t possible, reduce eyestrain by ensuring that you have a light that doesn’t cause a glare on your screen.
Set aside time every day for lunch and coffee breaks and remember to leave your workspace when taking breaks.
Looking after your emotional wellbeing:
Wake up at your usual time
You may not have a morning commute ahead of you, but you’ll still need enough time for your morning routines and any personal tasks before you start your working day. Rolling out of bed and straight onto your computer or work calls will likely make you feel more stressed or disorganised during the working day. Start your workday calmly and in a planned way.
Get dressed for work
Even though you’re not in an office, you should maintain your usual hygiene routine and wear your ordinary work clothes during working hours; this will help you to start your working day mentally focused and ready.
Regular communication is key
Call other team members to talk through what you are working on during the day. Share your progress, ideas, advice and thoughts, just like you would if you were in the office. Remember you usually spend the majority of your week speaking with colleagues, so try and maintain a similar pattern of communications where appropriate.
Inform your friends and family that even though you are working from home, you’re unavailable for visits and you’ll maintain your usual routine when returning communicating with them during a typical working day. Also, be mindful of how much time you spend looking at media and social media.
Drink lots of fluids
Hydrate throughout the day to maintain mental focus and avoid consuming too much caffeine.
Manage your diary and to-do lists as you would if you are working a normal day in the office. Ensure you share your diary with your colleagues/direct reports so they are aware when you are unavailable for calls and video conferences.
When you have completed your working day, shut down your workspace for the night. Depending on the latest government guidance on isolation and social distancing, try and keep to your usual daily living and exercise routine. Working from home doesn’t mean that you don’t have a personal life.