Just a few days ago it was announced that the UK is going on lock-down, that we’re all supposed to stay indoors and practice self-isolation whether we want to or not. We’re only allowed to go out for essentials such as food and medication and in those moments we have to practice social distancing. As I write this, COVID-19 is everywhere: the news, social media and in almost every conversation. So we each have to do our part to fight against this virus, simply by staying at home and turning our private homes into our own office spaces. Now I’ve been working from home for quite a long time – nearly 5 years to be exact – most of the time with a baby or two hanging from my hip! Subsequently I’ve picked up quite a few productivity tips which I’m about to share with you.
MAINTAIN A ROUTINE
Wake up and get out of bed at your normal waking hour, have a shower, drink your morning cup of coffee, eat your breakfast, and start your working day at the same hour that you’d usually do it. Try to maintain as much of your usual routine as you can. I’m not saying to put on full corporate attire and a full face of make-up (although there’s nothing wrong if you want to do that), but try to stick to your normal routine as much as you can. This will help you to feel more productive and that you’re able to get on with your day. Otherwise, if treat this time period as a bit of a holiday, you’ll start to feel out of place and won’t have that sense of normalcy. So start your day off right by giving yourself a chance to feel like you’re part of the normal work force.
CREATE YOUR OWN WORKING SPACE
While I don’t have my own office, I have my own dedicated space in the living room where I work and that the children aren’t allowed to touch. So although it might be difficult to take over an entire room in your house as an office, try to carve out a little area for yourself that you dedicate towards working in and doing nothing else. So even if it’s the corner of your kitchen table, set up your laptop, put your notebook and pen next to it and don’t let anyone mess with that work space. You can even make it more aesthetically pleasing by adding some pot plants and adding photos of your loved ones as we sometime do in our actual offices. Do you whatever you need to do to make it feel like your professional space as you’ll find that your work area will become sacred over the coming weeks.
And by all means, resist the urge to work from your bed in your pyjamas! This can be really detrimental to your overall mental health and productivity. It is only reserved for checking your social media and answering a couple of emails while you’re having your first cup of coffee, but after that it’s imperative that you start your working day off on the right foot.
Lists saves lives! I can’t tell you productive I feel every time I cross off an important task off my to-do list. Sometimes it’s not even something that’s really that important, but it’s something that needs to get done before I can move on to the next task, and in this case, a clear well-written list of tasks and goals is so beneficial.
TAKE BREAKS / TALK TO YOUR COLLEAGUES
If you were still in your office, you’d take take regular breaks right? You’d stop to discuss an idea with a colleague, or you’d take a break to mull over a complicated discussion that you need to have with your manager. Similarly, while you’re working from home it’s imperative that you give yourself enough breaks to regroup. You can even pick up the phone to talk to your colleague as they’re in a similar WFH situation. Chances are they’d appreciate the chance to talk to another human, especially if they’re living on their own and working in complete isolation. It doesn’t matter how you go about it, but make a concerted effort to step away from your computer.
SHOP THE POST
As you can tell the hero of this outfit is the most romantic, beaded, tulle mesh skirt from Chicwish.
GET FRESH AIR
At this point, we really don’t know how long this epidemic is going to last, so we need to make sure that we get vital fresh air amidst working from home. We don’t necessarily realise how much fresh air we’d normally get while going to the office as we’d naturally have to leave the house to walk to the car or train station, and then we’d have to leave the car or train station to walk into the office. More than likely, we’d probably also step outside during our lunch break as well as for meetings.
Since those things aren’t an option right now, we have to make sure that we get the necessary fresh air that our bodies need. So whether it’s stepping outside onto your balcony, doing yoga in your garden, or even just going out for a walk during that one hour that we’re allowed outside, do it. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive and energised it will make you feel.
This is my guide to working from home during the COVID-19 epidemic. If you have any more tips, please feel free to share them below.