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Improving Your Wellbeing

5 Essential Working from Home Tips

Over the last year, many of us have been faced with an unusual challenge: working from home for the first time. We’ve enjoyed some perks (bye bye commute!), but feeling stress, boredom, anxiety and uncertainty is also completely normal.

These five tips will help make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done and at maintaining your mental wellbeing.

 

1. Create a morning routine

Without regular schedules, the lines between work and personal time can get blurred and be stressful to get right. Try to follow your normal sleep pattern for work. This means setting your alarm for the same time, eating breakfast, and getting out of your pyjamas.

Replace your “commute time” with a morning walk or reading a book. This will help clear your mind before the workday begins.

Keeping your work and home lives separate is one of the challenges of working from home. So don’t forget to stop working when your shift normally ends. Shut down your computer and stop checking emails. This way, you have a clear transition to your personal life in the evening and improves your mental wellbeing. This applies equally if you have switched to flexible working hours for the first time, i.e. create space between working and home life.

 

2. Make a dedicated workspace or home office

Ideally you want to work at a desk or table with a comfortable seat and upright posture, but we know this is not possible for everyone. Your goal is to recreate the scene you normally have in the office as much as possible. This will help you “get in the zone” and be productive.

There are many ways to level up your home office: add plants, remove clutter, raise your laptop/monitor to eye level, position desk for maximum natural lighting, use noise-cancelling headphones etc.

If you need to make a bigger investment into a home office setup, a small ethical loan with us could help you.

 

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is essential when remote working, especially with your managers. Lay out expectations for how often you should check-in and schedule your regular meetings way in advance.

Remember, you don’t have to stick with only text-based communication. Do not default to email if you would have spoken to a colleague face-to-face while in the office. You might find it’s best to check in with your manager and colleagues over the phone and through video chat. This will cut down on miscommunication and break up some of the social isolation that can come from working from home.

Don’t forget to socialise with your colleagues too. When the whole office suddenly starts working from home, you’re cutting off a lot of the casual social interactions you’re used to having throughout the day that help you feel less lonely and break up the monotony of work. So schedule in regular catch ups. Why not think about setting up “social” breaks via one of the free channels such as zoom – checking with your manager first, of course.

 

4. Leave home

To the extent that it’s allowed and safe where you are during the Covid-19 outbreak, get out of the house, provided you can maintain social distancing, of course. Leave the building at least once a day. Your body needs to move. Plus, the fresh air and natural light will do you good. Especially now the lighter nights are coming in.

Also, take breaks in their entirety. If you have 30 minutes or an hour for lunch, then enjoy the whole time. You’ll come back refreshed and be more productive for the remainder of the day.

 

5. Remove distractions

Write a list of things which distract you when you’re in your home workspace. Common distractions include kids or other family members, noise from neighbours or outside, pets, and household duties. Now find a solution to remove or minimise these distractions before your workday begins. This might mean working in a different room, wearing headphones, or waking up earlier to get chores done. It might even mean some negotiating with family for quiet time.

Another method is to break up your day into blocks of highly productive time. This way you can allocate time to household chores and not use these a way to escape your current work task.

Lastly, don’t forget to put your phone on vibrate and face-down to remove the urge to check those dopamine-hitting social media notifications.

 

We don’t know when or if we’ll return to our work environment, so it’s important to make the most of your current working from home situation. Give these tips a try and you might see a boost in your productivity and mental wellbeing.

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