Working from home means you have the freedom to choose how you keep yourself motivated. This is a new normal for many of us – and it can take some getting used to.
From our personal experiences this year, we’ve put together a list of tips and best practices that have made remote working a more enjoyable and productive experience. These tips should help you to adjust with ease and confidence if you’re transitioning from commuting to working from home.
1. Have a morning routine
One of the pros of working from home is the time we gain back from our usual commute. We recommend using this time to maintain a sense of routine in the morning.
The mental association between working and being in an office tends to make us more productive – and there is no reason for this feeling to be lost when working remotely.
It might be tempting to stay in bed until the very last minute (or even stay in bed all day), but this will only lead to feeling sluggish and less productive.
Try to do the things you would usually do; set an early alarm, grab a tea or coffee, wear clothes that you’re confident in and head to your makeshift work area or desk at the time you’d usually get to the office. These small changes can help you get into ‘work-mode’.
2. Take regular breaks
Being away from the office means you’re responsible for your own time management. Without things like in-person meetings to structure your day – you might start to lose focus.
To avoid burning out, try setting up a schedule and taking breaks around the same time each day. Having these set breaks will help you to be more intentional about your work – without overworking yourself.
3. Set up a workspace
When possible, we recommend dedicating a room or space in your home for work. Make the most of working at home by personalising your desk to suit you, whether that’s a new desk plant, photographs or anything that lifts your spirits.
While working cooped up on the couch might be tempting – it’s best to avoid working in places you associate with leisure and keep work and downtime separate. This will help you to appreciate your free time– just like when you’re commuting.
4. Make a to-do-list
With nobody around to keep you motivated – you might find yourself losing track of things. Writing down a to-do-list (ideally the night before) will help you to work out which tasks you need to prioritise.
You can also write down when you’ll take a break and tick things off throughout the day. Working through a written list helps to bring us a sense of accomplishment.
5. Enjoy the outdoors
Just because you’re working from home– it doesn’t mean you need to be stuck inside all day. Getting fresh air can help improve your frame of mind and your ability to focus.
Use this time to explore your local area, take a lunchtime stroll or even start the day with a walk or jog. Small things like treating yourself to a coffee from the local café in the morning can help to start your day on a more positive note.
6. Stay active
When commuting into an office, you’ll naturally be more active throughout the day. Try to keep this up by taking walks, or even scheduling in some at-home workouts. Keeping active will generally lift your mood and help you to feel more energised and motivated.
7. Avoid spending too much time on social media
Being at home makes it easier to pick up our phones and scroll through social media. It’s great to stay connected – but you might be guilty of spending too much time scrolling.
If you have an iPhone, you could adjust your screen time to suit you. This means you’ll be notified if you hit your daily time limit on apps such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
You could also work on private mode or ‘incognito’ if you’re using Google Chrome. This means you’ll be signed out of all your social accounts, and your searches won’t be on autocomplete. This just makes it harder to log in and take too many social breaks throughout the day.
8. Keep in touch with people
It’s not uncommon for people to feel isolated when they’re working from home. Whilst it’s easy to stay in your own bubble – it is a good idea to stay in touch with friends and coworkers. Stay connected with your co-workers and check in with your team during the day, whether it’s a quick video chat or just a message.
Our last tip would be to make the most of the things you might not be able to do when working in an office. That might be making a nice home-made lunch, listening to your favourite podcast or spending time with your pets.