As we enter this new year, many people find themselves still working from home. Over nine months after the UK’s initial lockdown due to the Covid- pandemic, the world of work has not yet been able to return to normality. And for lots of people, it never will; the pandemic has changed our working lives forever, with many people claiming a new precedent has been set for flexible and remote work.
Whether working from the kitchen table suits you or not, those who can and are able to work from home, are having to get used to it. As we enter further lockdown restrictions, with no clear end in sight, we must embrace working from home in whatever ways we can. For some people, the lack of commute and freedom to work flexibly has been a blessing, but isolation and new technology have been a real struggle for others. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you must put a structure in place to work as effectively as you can.
Here are our top five tips for working from home:
Get into the work mind-set
Many people have struggled with not being able to distinguish your workspace from your leisure space. It’s hard to relax at the end of the day in the same room that you have been working, and it’s hard to work in the same room you have been sleeping in. One way to help this is by doing small things which help you feel like you are at work. For example, it’s essential to get up out of bed and get dressed every day; you might also want to clear the area you work in of anything which distracts you
Set a routine that works for you
Everybody works differently. The way you worked in the office might not necessarily be the same way you work at home. Try to find a structure and a routine that works for you; it will help you stay focused and feel motivated to work. Some people like to have a full morning routine to help them wake up before they start work, others prefer to wake up at the crack of dawn and get going. Whatever it is that makes you feel most productive, work it out and then stick to it.
Getting fresh air every day is essential for your health and wellbeing. It will help you to have more energy, sleep better, and focus more. During these cold and dark January days, it can be hard to persuade yourself to go out, but it will help you cope with working from home so much better. Some people have found that taking meetings over the phone allows them to walk as they do it.
One of the biggest challenges we have faced due to the pandemic is isolation and limited contact in all aspects of our lives. If you were somebody who enjoyed working as part of a sociable and lively team, the move to working alone from home might have been tough. Combat this by staying in regular communication with your colleagues. It doesn’t have to be a formal meeting. You could ask for a half an hour catch up chat, or send some work you have done to be reviewed. This will help you to stay connected to those around you.
Be kind to yourself.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. We are all facing challenges we could never have dreamed of. If you are struggling to be productive, or stay positive, it’s completely understandable. Take it each day at a time, and set yourself small and achievable goals. We will get through this together.