For those who are regulars at working from home, weathering this particular storm is going to be inconvenient, but for those who are new to working from home, the next few months are going to be a pretty significant shift. Here are some practical pieces of advice for those who are working from home for the very first time.
Wake up call
Wake up at your regular time. Maintaining consistency is the aim of the game, and as soon as your boundaries start to slip, you’ll start to become lazy.
Some people struggle to shut down at the regular time when they know they don’t have their regular commute to do.
“if I don’t need to wake up as early, why go to sleep as early?”, your brain will ask.
Trick your brain into getting to sleep with meditation apps like Calm or Headspace. Just 10 mins of meditation on an evening will help you achieve some early ZZZs.
Dress for the job
According to research by Joshua Duvall, an author at Research Papers UK and Last Minute Writing, “Our bodies appreciate the comfiness of our bed wear, and consciously or unconsciously, our minds react to this comfortability by shutting down the practical parts of our brains.”
Establishing boundaries between relaxing time and working time is really important, and getting dressed into your regular work clothes is a large part of that.
Replicate your workspace
Whether you’re sat in your cushy home office or you’re working on a makeshift washing board desk in the corner of your living room, get your home workstation looking as close to your office workstation as you can. It’ll help you keep in the zone and not lapse into comfy sofa mode.
Introducing the Pomodoro method
Your house is full of distractions, you say? Keep getting distracted? Time to learn about the Pomodoro method. The main idea is that you split your work into short, 20-minute sections of distraction-free work, and then reward yourself with a five-minute endorphin hit of social media, emails, Reddit, and other further procrastination. You repeat this cycle four times, and then you reward yourself with a 30-minute break.
Video > voice > type
Social isolation is very real, and it’s important to stay commented to your friends, family and, of course colleagues. If you can, it’s really important to keep up with face-to-face interaction, virtually, of course. When you want to communicate with others in your team, prioritise video conferencing over, calls and direct messaging, with calls being your next best option.
Are you easily swayed by the soft whispering voice of the biscuit tin?
Maintaining a healthy diet can be more difficult to manage when you’re sat working in your home kitchen, so ditch the snacks by losing the temptation. When you order your online shopping, limit your sweet snacks.
Another old trick is to drink a cup of peppermint tea next time you’re considering reaching for the nuts. Peppermint is known to quell cravings, helping you to outlast your desire to snack.
Split the responsibilities
If you live with friends, family or you’re responsible for kids, create a rota of responsibilities. The more that you can formalise who does what; when, the better. It’ll mean fewer arguments and help you to plan your time more effectively.
Exercise your right
You might be working from home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep fit. Try out some simple home workout programmes. Peloton, for example, is now offering a 90-day free trial on its home workouts, and it’s not just limited to bike exercise, there’s weight loss, yoga, HITT, and bodyweight strength training.
Repurpose your commute
Don’t waste the time you usually spent getting to and from work. You could use the time to do meal prep for lunch, complete other chores, or you could actually go on a “fake commute” around the block to get some air, and help you refocus your mind before, and after, working
Force social collisions
Self-isolating doesn’t need to be 100% isolating, not if you could virtual meet ups. Have daily catch up video calls with your friends and see as many human faces as you can to help you feel connected with the outside world.
The Conspicuous team has been working with some flexibility for years, and in that time we’ve learnt some great tips about how best to stay sane when you’re working remotely. If you’d like some advice, get in touch.