More and more companies have been shifting to flexible and remote working roles and now, in the current climate, it's imperative to implement if possible.
As an online company, we offer remote working job opportunities and therefore know a thing or two about keeping sane when your commute is simply a short walk to the next room.
We wanted to share our WFH top tips to help you out during this odd and uncertain time, so that you can remain happy, healthy and productive!
We have also shared blog posts on how to create a home office and on home office style inspiration. If you would like some extra help from your own, dedicated and professional interior designer, don't hesitate to book a call to chat more about your project.
1. Don't sleep in
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The early bird catches the worm! Ok, if you used to get up at 5am for a mammoth commute, we're not stealing an extra hour in bed from you, it would probably do you the world of good.
However, it's important to keep a good sleep routine - your mind and body will thank you! Going to bed at 3am after a Netflix binge and then waking up at 12pm is hardly going to set you up for a productive day.
Plus, when things do go back to normal, your body clock won't be as alarmed when you suddenly need to be getting up hours earlier again.
2. Act as if you were going into the office
Get up, dress up and show up. Not quite the same way if you actually were heading off to the office for a day full of meetings, but still, get up, make your bed, shower, get dressed and have your morning tea or coffee.
A consistent morning routine will keep you sane and hopefully retain your motivation to get stuff done.
3. Structure is key
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Structuring your day is super important for productivity and also for your mental health. During this weird time when every day feels like a black mirror episode, you might feel a bit lost and confused. Adding structure to your day will help combat this.
Whether this is a detailed timetable, a basic schedule or simply a prioritised to-do list, it's going to give your day a framework.
4. Choose a dedicated work space
Image credit: Homes To Love
Make sure you have an inspiring, comfortable and distraction-free place to work each day. Even though working on the sofa in front of the TV might feel more like a relaxing luxury at first, it may relax you a bit too much, resulting in more stress when things aren't getting done!
5. Don't be stationary all day
Remember to move! Regularly getting up from your desk after a block of working will help keep both your body and mind awake and happy. Plus, it's good for your health.
If you're really stuck into a piece of work and need to get it done, allow yourself at least to get up and go to the kitchen to make a hot drink. Whilst the kettle boils, do some stretches, run on the spot or try some quick press ups or squats - anything that gets your body moving.
Exercise is also really important to keep the immune system strong. Try and schedule in a larger block to fit in something that lifts your heart rate, such as a home workout or yoga video, a quick circuit in the garden or a refreshing (and socially distant) walk.
6. Remove distractions
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Try and ensure that your working space has as few distractions as possible. Although we don't have the distraction of people like we do in the office, we have pretty much everything else available to us at home.
Assign time in the evening to binge a Netflix series, but keep the TV switched off if you need to concentrate. Only have your phone out if you need it for work and only look at social media for a set amount of time during breaks.
If you have children at home, it's a good idea to choose a workspace away from where they're playing. Yes, they might need some adult supervision at points throughout the day, but don't try and multitask work and parenting too much as you'll risk getting overwhelmed!
7. Make time for breaks
Breaks are important for focus. Whether you have a social media break, exercise break or tea break with your other half, it will give your mind time to recover and recharge ready for the rest of the working day. If it's sunny, try and get outside even if it's just sitting on a small terrace or on your front door step! That vitamin D will do you wonders.
Also, don't forget to assign a lunchtime break so that you're not working and eating at your desk.
8. Stay hydrated
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Stay hydrated! Drinking lots of water will aid your focus and your overall health. Water is so important to keep your immune system and mind strong whilst flushing out any toxins. Staying hydrated will also stop food cravings and give you more energy.
Plus, if you always keep a glass of water close to your working space, this will stop you having to get up to go to the kitchen multiple times in an hour, and consequently getting distracted by the food cupboard!
8. To-do lists
To-do lists really are underrated in retaining sanity. By writing down a to-do list every morning, you know exactly what needs to be done and you will feel a sense of accomplishment every time you tick something off!
Remember, be realistic with your to-do lists, don't set yourself an inconceivable amount of tasks because this might leave you feeling deflated and disappointed if you don't complete the list.
9. Work when you're productive
You know yourself better than we do, so if you're an early bird, start work first thing in the morning. If you're more of an evening worker, trust yourself to get tasks done later in the day. You can use the day for home admin, spending time with family or taking up a new hobby.
'Later' can be a dangerous word though. Don't kid yourself into believing you're an evening worker if you're going to get to 6pm and realise you're too tired to start anything!
10. Emails in the morning, calls in the afternoon
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This might not be an all-inclusive rule, but it certainly works for us. If you get your emails cleared first thing in the morning, you then have some time to only focus on work that needs to get done.
Scheduling your calls in the afternoon allows to have this set time before to complete work and also reduces the worry of falling behind in workload whilst on the phone.
11. Plan your week in advance
It's good practice to have an idea of not only what needs to get done in the day, but also what your workload looks like for the entire week. This allows you to prioritise your time and know that if something comes up, you have a slot later in the week where you can catch up.
12. Incorporate house admin
Image credit: Homes To Love
Incorporating housework into your schedule allows you to remain active, structure your time, take breaks from work and still be super productive whilst doing so.
For example, if you put the washing machine on for an hour, this is a perfect block to get some work done before going back to the washing machine to hang out the clean clothes!
Need to unstack the dishwasher? Time that in as a break too. Having a life admin list alongside your work list should keep you on top of things - just don't overwhelm yourself thinking that everything needs to get done at once! Breathe. You have time.
13. Don't isolate yourself
Even though we are self-isolating, don't let yourself become isolated. Thanks to the technological world we live in, we can keep in touch the new-fashioned way. Make time each day to take a break from work and catch up with a loved one - this is essential!
A simple text or phone call is enough. However, if you feel you need that extra connection, there are loads of ways to video call now. Skype, FaceTime, zoom.. the list goes on. Also, you can download the app 'House Party' and video call with multiple friends at once, plus, you can play games like Heads Up, Pictionary and Trivia all whilst chatting!
Make sure you stay connected whilst the world is disconnecting.
14. Think about food
Image credit: Coco Lapine Design
Ok, this could be miscommunicated... Don't think about food constantly, this will inhibit any productivity you plan on doing. We mean, plan your food in advance. I.e. have lunches prepared like you would do for work and plan what you're going to cook for dinner.
This will take the time and hassle out of deciding on, preparing and eating food so you can focus more on your to-do list. If you love cooking or baking, allow yourself dedicated time to make the most out of enjoying the process.
15. Start and finish at the same time
There is always the danger that we will work way beyond our normal working day because there isn't a set time when we leave the office to go home. Make sure you retain your work/life balance by having a specific time to log on and log off each day.
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