There are a lot more of us working from home than ever before. There are certainly some pluses to this (access to the contents of ones snack cupboard, wearing the comfiest loungewear we all invested in during lockdown 1.0, unlimited tea and coffee breaks etc), but working from home can also be distracting, unmotivating and lonely. Here are our 5 simple tips to make working from home bearable.
1) Make A Dedicated Workspace
If, like me, you do not have a home office, set up your workstation preferably in a different room to one you relax in. This will help you separate your workday and your leisure time, and make sure you can shut off and are able to unwind in the evening. Ensure you are sitting on solid chair and your posture is not hunched, and that you have prepared your dedicated workspace before you start the day (for me, this is having a drink, my diary, laptop and charger ready).
2) Take A Lunch Break
It may sound silly, but you need to take a break away from your screen. Having lunch whilst checking emails is not taking a break. Resting your mind can directly improve your productivity as well as letting your body refocus and recharge. Step away from the screen. Make yourself a nutritious plate of food and sit in a different room to your dedicated work area so you do not get tempted to just pop on your laptop.
3) Get Some Fresh Air
If you are able, go for a local walk. Just a quick walk out of your house can make you feel so much better. You can get outside on that dedicated lunch break time you have allocated yourself (see previous point) or even after you finish for day as a way of separating your work time and leisure time. Walking has many health benefits such as releasing endorphins, a feel-good hormone, as well as reducing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
4) Keep In Contact With Your Colleagues
These were once people you saw five days a week and chatted with about silly things to keep yourself entertained throughout the day. This does not have to stop when you are working from home. Set up a work WhatsApp group or get on instant messenger. Better still, have a catch up on the phone or even book in a Zoom video chat. Your colleagues likely feel the same way as you, and sending a message asking how they are can really make a difference to yours and their mental health.
5) Set Out Daily Goals
Achieving goals you set out for yourself increases Dopamine in your body. This hormone helps motivate you, encourage productivity and increases focus and creativity. It drives you to succeed and is a feel-good hormone. Your goals do not have to be big (you can clear your inbox, or send a report before its due), but they do have to be achievable. Write a list at the beginning of the day and tick them off once you have completed what you set out to do. This way, you can physically see the work you have achieved.
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