Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. Working from home is one of the easiest ways to practice social distancing (provided you actually have a job that you can do remotely) and halt the spread of COVID19. However, it’s also incredibly tempting to put your feet up, work in your pyjamas and maybe not even leave the bedroom. Don’t fall into this trap, working from home and getting shit done is possible. Here’s how to make the most of your time at home (and still get Employee of the Month).
Set your hours
If you’re working from home, your workplace must already be pretty flexible. While most offices have expected hours, if yours doesn’t, you’ll have to set them yourself. Here’s the first test of your distancing. Do yourself a favour and set your hours the night before you work from home. It’s easy to procrastinate and get distracted and take a long breakfast or lie in during the hours you’d usually be on the bus. Draw yourself up a roster (including a lunch hour, obvi), and keep it right by your WFH set up. Get up, shower, swap from your PJs to your trackies on and seize the day as per usual.
Work near natural light
This is one thing we notice at Showpo HQ, natural lighting is everything. Research shows that access to natural light has a direct impact in physical and mental health, efficiency, creativity and workplace wellbeing. While it seems lush to work from your bed, you won’t be thanking yourself later. Move your work essentials to a room that has loads of natural light or pick a spot near a window. That way, when you retire to your room after a hard day of BAU goal kicking, your room won’t be harbouring all the stress of work that day. You’ll also be less likely to fall into a cheeky midday nap…trust us, it’s easier than you think.
Keep your phone on DND
Personally, I do this every day, whether I am working from home or not (you can read all about why here). Falling into the Insta black hole is easy but at least when you’re at work, your boss is only a few seats away and can curb your bad habits. However, at home, there’s nothing to stop you mindlessly scrolling for what you think is five minutes but is actually an hour. If you have a work phone (fancy you), pop your personal phone on do not disturb in a separate room. If you need it for work, turn off all your social media and messaging notifications for the day. You’ll be surprised how often these little interruptions break up your workflow.
Stay away from the TV
Take the bedroom rule and apply to your television set too. Sure, it’s nice to have background noise, but the visuals can be a huge distraction. Save your trashy daytime TV fix for your midday lunch break.
Unlike the TV, having headphones in can actually keep you focused. Whether they are playing some white noise, today’s Top 40 or a podcast, they’ll drown out all the distractions about you. If you really find music distracting even just having them in but not playing anything softens all that background chitter-chatter.
Remember to ‘switch off’
When you get into a rhythm working at home, it’s easy to plough through the day and not realise you’ve been working for eight hours straight. Unlike when you’re in the office, no one is getting up and moving around reminding you that it’s actually time to go home. Make sure you have a routine that marks the end of your day. This could be something like going to the gym, going for a walk or having dinner with your roommate. The last thing you want to do is be dragging your work into the late evening hours. We all need boundaries.
So, in summary: