While we have adapted quickly to changing circumstances, getting the most out of a new workspace can still take some extra discipline and consideration, especially when it’s from home!
It’s hardly surprising, offices have all those subtle cues and associations that get us into a productive frame of mind. While your remote working space at home is in a location you (hopefully) associate with relaxation and fun. Equally, a lack of structure can lead to overworking and forgetting those all-important screen breaks.
Therefore, we think it is important to develop a homeworking routine that sets you up for a day’s work, not a day snuggled up on the couch with your laptop while Netflix plays in the background or working late into the night when you could be chilling out. Here are our top tips:
Get dressed for success
There’s no need to shine your shoes for a day of working from home – although if that does the trick for you, we definitely won’t argue – but there’s a lot of power in wearing something that makes you feel energised and capable. The majority of people find they have a more productive day when they jump in the shower first thing and put on something that makes you feel ready for the day.
Section off work time
Zero commute time might seem like one of the benefits to working from home, but a daily pre-work journey can be a fun experience and has the advantage of getting you into ‘work-mode’. Something that can be a struggle when your home is your office.
Why not start your day by leaving the house and walking a mile – or however far is realistic for you. Turn around, walk back, and let yourself into your ‘office’. You’ll immediately be more efficient. At the end of the day, ‘commute’ home, which will help you switch off from work.
Keep work behind an office door
Try to create a dedicated office space, with a door that you can close behind you at the end of the day. This physical barrier between you and your to-do list acts as a psychological barrier to your ‘business brain’. Hopefully making it easier to bring your focus to family and friends, or even just the television after a long day.
If you are sharing your home with others, creating a space where you can remote work is even more valuable. The door to your work from home ‘office’ indicates the start of a professional space and it needs to be treated as such. An important distinction that reminds them (and you) that despite being a remote worker you are doing a ‘proper’ job.
Set an alarm for regular work breaks
As a homeworker, you might find it easy to work long hours without taking a break. Stopping to put another load of washing on doesn’t count as rest, nor does grabbing food from the fridge and taking it back to your desk.
Marathon sessions may feel like a productive experience, but, generally, they’re anything but. Being burnt out isn’t helpful for anyone. But if you do find it hard to take breaks, try to set aside some time in the day to relax before getting back to it.
Why not set an alarm clock to go off every two hours in the room farthest from your desk. Use these alarms as opportunities to get up and take a break and stretch your legs.