Thousands of us are now getting used to working from home for the first time due to the current coronavirus outbreak, but after the initial novelty starts to wear off what’s the best way to stay efficient and keep motivated
It’s important to ensure you establish boundaries when working from home, as it’s easy to overcompensate because it’s all new and everyone’s anxious at this new set up.
Make sure you stick to set hours of work to ensure you maintain a good work life balance. Be ready to start and finish work at the same time you would normally, as well as getting a good night’s rest as you would for a normal day at work.
Set boundaries with other people in your home. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should break off and allow home distractions to take you away from your work. Maybe setting an important signal to indicate you’re in ‘work’ mode, such as ‘when the door is closed, pretend I’m not there’ could work.
As appealing as staying in your pyjamas all day might sound, getting washed and dressed will psychologically prepare you for a day’s work ahead. You don’t necessarily need to change into your usual business attire; however, some people find this helpful, especially if they are dialling into video calls.
Changing out of clothes you generally associate with sleep and rest helps your brain understand that you’re now in ‘work’ mode, which is why changing out of these clothes after you finish for the day is also recommended.
Working from home means no joining in with the usual office conversations, which can sometimes mean less distractions and more productivity however going the whole day without speaking to someone can be isolating.
People often hide behind emails whilst working from home, so consciously make an effort to pick up the phone and make a call to a colleague instead. These conversations can be more productive than a chain of emails and keep isolation at bay.
Break off regularly
Research suggests short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial then longer less frequent breaks. You don’t sit glued to your screen all day when working in the office, so why would you do the same at home.
Be sure to get away from your desk for a short period to give your eyes a rest from the screen and also stretch your body. Make sure you take your allocated lunch break too, as people often find themselves sat working through their lunches whilst working from home.
Keep your spirits up
These are stressful and worrying times, with negative headlines everywhere and the personal worry of your loved ones. Feelings of isolation and sadness are more common when working from home, so make sure you keep in regular contact with others during this time. Whether that be a quick chat to a colleague or phoning a friend or family member when on your lunch break.
Video calls can also help lift your spirits as it simulates the face-to-face interactions we usually get with our colleagues, friends and family on a daily basis.
Everyone usually gets into their own routine of working from home that works best for them but sometimes you might need some inspiration from others who are in the same position to help keep you motivated. Make sure you share best practice with your colleagues to keep things fresh.