Autumn is upon us and you’re still working from home. The novelty of working from home has most certainly started to wear off. Without the re-assuring repetitiveness of your daily commute and the friendly banter from your team, you may be feeling as bleak as the weather.
Not everyone finds it easy to work from home, especially if you are distracted by children, your partner (who is also trying to work from home), household chores and the doorbell constantly ringing. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your motivation levels up whilst working from home:
Create a routine
Structure makes our brains happy because the patterns and routines we don’t have to think about will allow our brain to go into autopilot. Establishing a set routine (with some room for flexibility) will give your day some structure. This should make you more efficient, productive and hopefully more at ease in these uncertain times. A routine is just as important for your mental health as it is for your productivity levels. It can be as simple as getting up at the same time every day, reading a book or doing a workout, making a coffee and breakfast, then setting down to start your workday. Personalise the routine to work for you. As long as you are consistent and the routine loosely mimics the one you had when you were at the office, it should work for you.
Even if you put on sweatpants and a jumper, putting on your daytime clothes will make a big difference to your mindset. If you work in your pyjamas you’ll still be in ‘relax mode’ which won’t make you feel motivated to get things done. You don’t have to put clothes on that will make you uncomfortable like jeans, comfort is the aim, just make sure they are clothes you would actually wear outside. The added bonus of this is that when you leave the house to get food or do some exercise, you’ll already be ready.
Designate a workspace
If you work in bed you may be comfortable – although not for long as you may develop back issues – however, your mind probably won’t be in ‘work mode’. If you don’t have a desk, the dining room table or even the sofa are better places to work than your bed. The key think is to find a space that will take you away from household distractions and get you to focus on the job.
Communication is key
You can’t turn around to your boss or colleagues and ask that quick question when you’re not in the office. Communication is even more important when the only way to contact your co-workers is online by phone. You’ll probably find yourself having more regular meetings via video chat, which will help you all to be on the same page about all the projects you’re working on. Use these weekly catch ups to iron out any work-load issues and any areas of concern so that the problem doesn’t escalate.
Make mobility part of your routine
Seeing the same four walls non-stop isn’t good for anyone. Exercise will stop you feeling lethargic from sitting at home all day. So leave your phone at home and go for a walk or a run early before the start of the day. Another option is to exercise at lunchtime to energise yourself in the middle of the day. If you can find time for more exercise then why not try some deskercise?
It’s important to have the right level of room lighting. I appreciate that it’s a fine line between good lighting that provides enough illumination and bright lighting that borders on glare. You need comfortable lighting to be able to see all kinds of documents, but these must be ones that will not blind you. Also, the lighting should not be too dim as this will make you feel sleepy and less productive.
Stick to your work hours
We are well aware of how bad screen time can be for your health. So unless you have a particular deadline that you need to hit, you should stick to your structured work hours as much as possible. It’s important to be able to relax after your workday and not keep thinking about work. This is easier to do if you shut the laptop and ignore your emails from the moment your workday ends.
Try to organise fun and relaxing things for yourself to do after work. Pop on an eye mask and have a long warm bath, have a solo disco, a video chat or read a book to help you slip more easily into ‘relax mode’.
By Nimesh Shah, Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts