Keeping Your Sanity While Working from Home
I never did work in an office… I’ve always worked from my dining room table. This was always life and I can’t remember a time before lock-down.
Ok, ok, so it’s been just over a week for most. Your pets are getting used to you being at home all day, peeking in on conference calls and walking over your laptop changing the language to Spanish and you have no idea how to turn it back. Your smart meters gone past the bar you’re comfortable with and we are all just trying to get into a routine of home being the office for the time being.
It’s difficult working from home and knowing there’s no set date we know we’ll be back in the office by, here a few tips on keeping your sanity while working from home.
1. Try and do something before you start your day– Usually we all get the time to wake up and get ready for work, commute and make a coffee before you would reach your desk. Now, in reality you could just walk from the bed to the desk.
Make sure you make time for yourself before work; I know the temptation to wake up a minute before 9, slap the kettle on and open the laptop can be real inviting at times, but I’d say try and avoid at all costs. If you let yourself slip into habits like this, you’ll find yourself not getting into the swing until the afternoon.
Try all these super cliché but genuinely worthwhile things to get yourself ready for the day; yoga, playing with your pets, stretching, making time to have a good breakfast or going for your government approved outdoor exercise.
2. Don’t work from bed or the sofa– Not that anyone would admit to it, but working from somewhere you usually would associate with relaxing and downtime can really hinder your productivity and also ruin it when it does come to being time to relax. Make sure you don’t start making bad associations with places in your home or it might start to feel like work never switches off.
Set yourself up a desk or work area. If you’re lucky enough to have a study, spend all your work time in there, or otherwise use a dining room table and make it a space for work.
Here’s mine, feat. My disgruntled cat Momo, my Harry Potter note pad and a doubled over blanket because the bench of my dining room table is super uncomfortable without it.
3. Structure your day– I always have a plan for my day, because I love a good to do list, I get genuine Monica Geller levels of satisfaction from ticking something off a list. But in times like these where things seem to be getting more uncertain every time the news comes on, having a bit of control over your day will give you the sense of achievement you may miss being out of the office and away from your supportive team.
4. Make sure you’re switching off for lunch– don’t forget that just because you’re working from home you still need a break. Shut the laptop, turn over the work phone and check out for an hour. Call your friends, eat your lunch, watch the TV, just don’t forget to let yourself have a moment as well.
5. Create a work environment at home for 9-5– Try and mimic the way you work in the office. At GFB we sometimes have the radio on so I have music on in my house while I work during the day, it keeps me sane but not distracted. For others I know silence is key so do what works best for you!
6. The end of the day in the office should mean the end of the day working from home– It’s so important to let yourself know you’re off the clock, especially when all your doing is moving from one room of the house to the other. Move to the sofa, turn on the TV, run a bath, everything will be there when you log back in tomorrow.
I hope these tips help everyone out with this potentially longer that imagined remote working dealio. Remember, we’re all in the same boat, reach out if you’re struggling, keep in contact with your team and be supportive!