10 essential tips for mastering the working from home life
By Cable.co.uk | Saturday, January 30th 2021
Working from home – something that many have had to adapt to since Covid-19 arrived at our lives – is not all rainbows and unicorns. It does have a lot of perks, like being able to wear your comfiest loungewear and slippers, but it can take some time to adapt to. Grab a cup of tea, sit comfortably and take note. These 10 pro tips for mastering the working from home life are here to make yours a smooth experience.
1. Set a schedule and stick to it
If you work office hours and you’ve only changed where your desk is, this one will be an easy one. Maintaining regular hours and some sort of schedule is key for your mental health and your productivity. Yes, you’re at home now and you don’t have to commute but it’s important to separate between being at home and working from home.
This means, try to follow your normal work and rest patterns and stay consistent. It may be difficult if you’re homeschooling on top of working but try at least to have set blocks of time for uninterrupted work time when you can’t be distracted.
Another thing that’s very useful for a successful working from home experience is getting up at the same time than in ‘normal’ times, eat breakfast, get dressed and use the time you’d commute for some exercise, catching up with reading or doing some meditation.
This also applies to the end of the day. Do your hours and when your workday is over, stop working. Get up from your desk or wherever you’re working, stop checking your emails, don’t answer work calls – unless they are real emergencies – and go for a walk, exercise, have some food or unwind as you please.
The physical boundaries between work and life are more blurred than ever. Make sure you draw a line and separate them. Your mental health will thank you for that.
2. Make sure you’ve got the best broadband for your needs
If you’re working from home, you’re likely to spend more time than ever on Zoom calls and you may have to work online more than you used to. The broadband that was previously good enough for streaming your favourite TV shows and checking social media may not be enough to handle lots of conference calls or downloading big files. This may be the right time to reassess what you have… and what you need. And if you need to switch to a faster and more powerful Internet connection we can help you compare and find the best broadband deal for you.
3. Create a morning routine
Do not underestimate the power of a good morning routine to get you in the right mindset for work when there are so many distractions lying around – laundry, dusting, organising, procrastinating. Setting a morning routine that you enjoy can be very useful and it can be something as simple as having a cup of coffee and some light breakfast while you check your to-do list. Or getting dressed. Or going for a morning walk/run. Anything that helps you ‘get started’ each day and that you actually look forward to.
4. Have a dedicated workspace
Depending on your living adjustments you may not have a separate space or room that you can work from. But if you can find a quiet space away from other people in your household and any distractions, that will make a difference. Even if you’re sharing the dining room table or the couch, get everything you need in one place before you start work and close the door or put on your headphones to cancel any noise.
Working from your sofa may sound tempting but it’s not the best for your back. A desk or even a table is better for your posture. Speaking of comforts, if you’ve been sent to work from home your company should support your work-from-home setup and make sure you’ve got all that you need. So, assess if you need your office chair with you at home or an extra monitor and ask for it. We don’t know how long we’re going to be working from home and being comfortable is essential.
5. Take breaks
Be gentle on yourself and if your mental health is struggling take a break. Scheduling 5 to 10-minute breaks during your working hours will help you relax and focus when you have to. Make sure you take your time for lunch, move around, get some fresh air or use that time to unwind and relax. Looking at a screen 9 to 5 can be incredibly tiring so make sure you have a break.
6. Stay connected
One of the things you may miss the most from the good old days in the office is your colleagues. After all, human interaction matters a lot and we all need to socialize. Working from home may make you feel more isolated, especially if you live alone. Scheduling a digital coffee break whenever you need to catch up with your colleagues or pencilling in an end-of-week get-together can help you feel less alone. It’s all about making time for staying in touch with those who matter.
7. Set boundaries and rules
Setting boundaries and rules is a key tip for working from home and it applies to anyone. Whether you’re juggling parenting responsibilities or you’re alone, it’s important to set some rules for your mental health’s sake.
When we talk about boundaries, we mean sharing your working schedule with your family so that they know you need quiet time – and also when you will be available for them. But also switching off when your workday is over and clearly separating the professional and personal spheres.
8. Be kind to yourself
There will be days in which you will not be feeling like getting any work done. Days in which you won’t be as productive as you usually would. It’s all normal given the unusual circumstances we’re living. So be kind to yourself, have patience and don’t judge yourself harshly. That is why one of our top tips for working from home is to be realistic about what you can achieve and don’t beat yourself if you didn’t manage to complete it. It’s alright and we’re all struggling with home working in some sort of way.
9. Leave your home
Not particularly during your working hours, but leaving your home during the day will work wonders on your mental health. You won’t be commuting but your body needs to move, fresh air and natural light. So use your lunch breaks for a short walk around the park or your area. Go to the garden if you have one. Get up earlier and go out before work. Or afterwards. The key here is to go out and unwind.
10. End with a routine
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of having a morning routine to settle into work. Likewise, having a small habit that marks the end of the workday is also very beneficial for your mental health. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Think shutting down the computer and listening to a podcast, going for a walk, joining an online fitness class or cooking dinner. If you enjoy it and do it consistently, it is a good way of marking the end of your working from home day.
Do you have any other interesting tips for working from home? Send us a message or leave a comment and we’ll take good note.