It’s happening. There’s a pandemic and everyone’s freaking out. Some of us are still heading to work everyday and some of us are stuck in our houses facing isolation. At first, I thought ‘yesssss no need to wake up at silly o’clock, no need to wear makeup and definitely no need to put a bra on’ but here I am a few days later and bloody hell, the novelty of working from home really has worn off quite quickly. I’m one productive gal but I’ve got to be honest, it’s a lot harder to be productive when you’re in a house full of distractions with nobody to keep you sane. Which is exactly why I’ve been jotting notes down all day to bring you 10 tips for working from home.
Get ready in the mornings
I’ve heard people who work from home all the time say this before because it really helps. Don’t roll out of bed, throw on some pyjamas and start your working day because it doesn’t help with productivity one little bit. You need to get into the mindset that you’re not just having a laptop day at home and you’re actually working!
Make sure you set your alarm as usual (maybe with an extra half hour in bed but don’t wake up five minutes before you should start work) and when it goes off, get up, grab a coffee or whatever it is you normally do and then get ready. I don’t necessarily mean put makeup on because who can be arsed? Naaaaat me! But don’t live in trackies or PJs because it subconsciously makes you less productive and we don’t want that do we?
Use your extra time wisely
So I just said wake up at your usual time or maybe a bit later if you want to make the most out of working from home, this should give you some extra time in your day which you wouldn’t normally have. Make the most of this and use that time wisely because you’re not always going to have it! Stick a wash on, walk the dog, cook a proper breakfast, have a quick tidy up or write a blog post (which is exactly what I’m doing right now).
Create a workspace
When I worked from home on Friday, I didn’t set up a proper workspace and I’ve got to be honest, I think I would’ve been more productive if I was sat at a desk. It’s also way better for your posture if you’re sat on a chair at a desk or table rather than being slouched on the sofa. So now I’ve got my laptop, monitor, etc. all set up at my desk and I feel much better! It’s also nice just having a dedicated space in your house for work so you can escape at the end of the day!
Don’t feel confined to your house
Working from home implies working from your house right? But cabin fever is real and you shouldn’t feel confined to the four walls of your house if you want to pop down to your local coffee shop just to have a breather and do some work there. Most cafes have WiFi and will give you a chance to get out if you feel like you’re going mad. But just remember, this isn’t necessarily possible for everyone during isolation!
Bring all your notes from work
If you’re anything like me and rely on a notebook for all those notes from meetings or phone calls, take it home with you! You never know what work might pop up over the coming days or weeks which you need to refer back to your notes for.
Set boundaries with whoever you live with
Family, friends, kids, boyfriend, anyone. Whoever you live with needs to understand that you’re working from home and not just off work for a couple of weeks. Obviously this can be a lot trickier with children so don’t come to me for advice on that one haha but with anyone else, let them know that you can have the odd chat or lunch together but out of those hours, you’ve got to crack on with your job!
Have a proper lunch break
It’s all too easy to be glued to your laptop during your lunch break but while you’re stuck in the house, try and avoid it. Get away from your desk (this is where having a set workspace comes in handy) and go for a walk, make some lunch, do some yoga, sit in the garden or at least do something to get away from your working area.
Keep in touch with colleagues
No matter how introverted you are, we all need human contact and to speak to others to keep us sane. If you haven’t already, start a Whatsapp or email group with your colleagues and keep in touch with them through that. Whether you’re talking about work, what you’re having for lunch or sending GIFs about how tired you are, staying in contact with them can give you that communication and ability to speak to someone which you might not have otherwise.
Switch off your laptop at the end of your working day
One of the best things you can do when you’re working from home is switch your computer off at the time you usually finish work. It’s all too easy to dawdle on your laptop towards the end of the day and before you know it, it’s an hour later than ‘home time’ and you’ve done sweet FA so do yourself a favour and shut down at 5 o’clock or whenever it may be. Make the most of your evenings like you would if you were working from the office!
We’re not all lucky enough to have the flexibility to work from home when we need to. So why not make a case for yourself? If you prove you can be trusted with your workload then it may well help you in the future when you ask your boss if you can work from home on the odd day. Show your manager what you’ve achieved so they know you’re a reliable employee when it comes to working from home.
Working from home either suits people or it doesn’t but either way, you can make it work for you. It’s not forever and even if you’re struggling with the unsociable aspect, you and your colleagues are likely to be in the same situation so stick together!
Have you got any tips for working from home during this craziness?