With several countries now in lockdown as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, many people will find themselves working from home for the first time. We’ve shared some handy tips to ensure you can continue to work smoothly at home, until you can get back in the office.
1. Have a designated clutter free workspace
Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a separate room to work in, if you can, setup a separate workspace area. It may be tempting to work from bed for example, but when it comes to the evening, you may struggle to relax / sleep in the same room where you’ve been working all day.
2. Ensure your workspace is ergonomic
One of the worst things you can do is spend the day hunched over your laptop. Try and tick off as many of the following recommendations as possible:
- Use a good chair with a dynamic chairback and sit back in it
- The top of your monitor should be 5-8 cm above eye level
- Make sure there’s no glare on your screen
- Sit at arms length from your monitor
- Have your feet on floor or a stable footrest
- Keep wrists flat and straight in relation to forearms to use keyboard/mouse/input device
- Have your arms and elbows relaxed, close to your body
- Centre your monitor and keyboard in front of you
- Use a stable work surface
- Take frequent short breaks (micro-breaks)
3. Structure your day
Have a set lunch hour to give yourself a proper break. Don’t spend the whole hour in front of your computer, as your mind (and eyes) will feel fresher if you have time away from your screen.
4. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of the day
Even during times when you have to stay indoors, have something planned to look forward to in the evening. Even a programme on the television to relax in front of at the end of the day will keep you in a good frame of mind – and make it more likely you’ll be productive throughout the day.
5. Working from home with Kids
If you are working from home with children (which many people will be now) and live in a two-parent household, it is important to establish how your working days are going to run alongside taking care of your children.
Once you’ve discussed workload, it’s important that when it’s one parent’s turn to work, they can do so efficiently and without interruption. Agree a sign that you shouldn’t be disturbed, for example if you’ve got headphones on, or even better if you have a home office, make sure you can lock it from the inside!
It’s scientifically proven that exercise makes you feel happier and can also boost your immune system, which is even more crucial given the current situation facing the world in regard to COVID-19. Add some exercise into your day – be it a quick run around the block, some pushups in the living room, or a keep fit class online – and your mind and body will thank you for it.
7. Put on some music to help you focus
According to this Entrepreneur article, there are six main types of music known to dramatically improve productivity. From classical, through to nature tunes, and even video game music – there’s something for everyone in the quest to work efficiently from home, so give the full article a read.
8. Set yourself a to do list
Having a to do list will keep you focused and also give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each working day. Break tasks into sub tasks, so that you have mini achievements as you work – almost like you would when playing a computer game. A little bit of tricking your mind goes a long way to stay on track and working efficiently throughout the working week.
9. Don’t have the TV on while you work
Yes it’d be tempting to watch a programme while you work, but it’s hugely distracting and, as much as you might think you won’t keep looking at your TV, you definitely will. Wait until the evening when your work is done instead and you’ll have earned your relaxation time. We even make custom tv stands and media units for your tv to sit on/within.
10. Start the day as you normally would
Tempting as it may be to work in your pjs, sticking to your normal routine will help you transition more smoothly into working from home. Have a shower and get dressed (even it is into a onesie) and take a quick walk around the garden before you get to work. If you normally commute to work, savour the lack reduced stress that comes with travel, and think about what you’ll do with the new found time.
So there we have it, a few tips for easing the transition into working from home. Thanks for reading and stay safe.