For many, working from home has become the new norm. Initially, an extra hour in bed and Zoom calls in our joggers took the edge off the sudden change to our lives. Six months down the track, the novelty of WFH has certainly worn off.
Our now not-so-new working environment has presented us with a whole new set of challenges, whether it's balancing home and work life or dealing with loneliness. To help you get the most of out of working remotely, here are a few tips we have learned along the way.
Stick to your routine
When WFH it can be tempting to let your normal daily routine slide. According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Shreena Unadkat when “you spend more time indoors it is hard to get the external cues we all require to keep our body clock in rhythm”. If you can, try sticking to your normal wake up and sleep times. And even though sitting in your pyjamas all day may seem tantalising, you are better off getting showered and dressed. When we feel our best, we tend to work more effectively. Remember, it is also important to try and transition in and out of work. Use your ‘commute time’ to listen to music, read or catch up on personal emails. Remember to still enjoy your interests and hobbies. Take time out to continue with your exercise regime, try out that new recipe or stream that new film you’ve been itching to see.
Setting boundaries and create a space
It’s crucial that you pick a designated workspace at home and stick to it. Try to pick somewhere you wouldn't normally spend time in when you are trying to relax so that you are able to walk away from your "place of work" at the end of the working day and week. While it may be tempting to work from the comfort of your sofa, it is much better to sit at a desk and preferably away from your nearest and dearest. It's important that you're not distracted.
Reach out and stay connected
The coffee breaks with colleagues and the Friday afternoon drinkies were the things that kept us going, the sense of community and friendships keep morale up in times of stress and contributed to that great working environment. Try keeping in touch with your colleagues whether it’s on a professional or personal level. Reaching out a few times a week can be so important.
Organise a digital coffee break or team quiz, we all need that level of emotional support. After all, we work better together.
Don’t punish yourself for taking breaks
Staring at the screen all day can be tough and it takes a lot of discipline to maintain focus when you’re working alone. If you can feel productivity levels dropping and you’re spending a little too much time on Twitter between meetings, then it’s time to take a break.
This means switching off and getting away from your desk. If you’re not self-isolating, it may be beneficial to go outside for a walk- even just for 10 minutes. The fresh air will allow you to clear your head, stretch your legs, and then return to work with a better headspace. Equally, switch on the TV or radio, lose yourself for a short while. Recharge your battery and return to your workspace with a fresh perspective.
Don't feel guilty about having some you time.
Don’t stress about what the future might hold
Life’s yet to return to normal. You may be working remotely for some time to come, or your business may require you to return to the office shortly. Whatever the outcome, look after your health and well being. Be kind to yourself and others around you. You've got this.
At Balance Business Solutions, we know how difficult it can be adjusting to working remotely, if you are new to working from home and would like some help adapting to your new normal, please do get in touch for an obligation free discovery call to work out what changes you can make to ensure you are working at your fullest potential.