Ever since our lives got turned upside down due to the widespread and seemingly unstoppable coronavirus, the remote working trend has become a force to be reckoned with. Even though pre-Covid, 99% of workers desired the chance to work remotely, for at least part of their week. However, this trend has now become more of a need rather than a want. Thanks to covid rearing its ugly head, companies have had no other choice but to start operating remotely.
This new era of remote working has completely reshaped the way people work, bringing with it many obstacles along the way. To some people, working remotely sounds perfect: not having to get changed out of your pajamas, having access to an unlimited number of cupboard snacks, or even working from your bed if you’re feeling especially lazy. However, in reality, working remotely comes with many of its own trials and tribulations. Many remote workers have confessed to getting easily distracted when working from home. These distractions can come in the form of a dirty pile of washing, or the dog seeking your attention. These distractions diminish your levels of productivity and kill time as well as your concentration levels. However, fear not, this article will present you with the best tips to help you successfully work from home, no matter how distracting your environment may be.
9 Top Tips to successfully work from home
Work from home tip 1: Continue with your normal routine
When working from home there’s always the temptation to have a more relaxed start to your day. Don’t deny it, we’ve all been there. The temptation to snooze that alarm because you don’t have to wake up early for the commute, or to even get dressed for that matter. However, you must resist this temptation. Psychologically it’s important to wake up, shower, and get dressed as if it were a normal working day in the office. If not, for the rest of the day you won’t be in the right mentality to work and be productive.
Tip 2: Only work 8 hours a day
When you work from home it is very easy to continue working into your evening, especially when you haven’t completed your tasks for the day. When people begin working from home full time (like a lot of us are having to do right now), their work and personal life begin to merge into one. It becomes harder to separate both worlds, however, it is beyond crucial to establish boundaries with yourself. If not you will burn out and your productivity levels will suffer, but worse still so will your mental health.
You can create boundaries by logging off at a set time, and after that making sure not to talk or even think about work. Put your work tools and electronic devices away. This will aid you in switching off and recharging your batteries.
Tip 3: Have a designated separate working space
This may be harder to achieve for those living in a boxy London apartment, having to work at the kitchen table. However, it is very important to have a designated separate space in which you can work in. This helps differentiate between your work life and personal life. As psychologically it is detrimental for one’s mental state to sleep and work within the same room, as it merges your professional and private life into one.
Tip 4: Peace and quiet
Your allocated working space should be quiet, to enable you to focus on your daily tasks. Block out any distracting noises that may work against you achieving your optimal level of productivity. This can be done by investing in some noise-blocking headphones. Or even putting on some calming sounds of nature in the background, which have been scientifically proven to help you concentrate by reducing your heart rate and blood pressure by triggering the calming part of your brain.
Tip 5: Breath in that fresh air
The temptation to just sit and work a solid 8 hours without taking a break is all too tempting. This is especially true if you have a big deadline looming, or a task that needs to get done. Also, due to no longer traveling to work in the morning, it reduces your opportunity to get up and move your legs. It is scientifically recommended to go outdoors for at least 45 minutes every morning. This helps wake you up and get you ready for the working day ahead. Even if it just involves having your morning coffee in the garden, or opening the window to let some oxygen into your room. It may seem like something small, but it will do wonders to improve your working environment.
Tip 6: Stay active
Americans spend an average of 6.4 hours a day sitting down. This is not only bad for your physical health, with the slowing down of your metabolism being one of the principal repercussions. It also causes many other health-related issues such as an increased risk of mortality. It is recommended to take an active break every 30 minutes. This can easily be accomplished through the implementation of small changes. These could include going on a walk on your lunch break or having your food somewhere other than your desk. It could even be as silly a change as to drink your water out of a cup instead of a water bottle, to maximize the number of times you have to get up to fill it up.
Tip 7: Regularly check in with yourself
It is beyond important to regularly check in with yourself. Work-related mental health issues are incredibly common, as high pressured stressful jobs can exacerbate already existing mental health issues. With the covid pandemic being a significant trigger for mental health issues. Mental health is a frequent cause of long term sickness absence. Furthermore, the estimated cost of mental health issues for businesses in the US costs nearly the same as physical health issues. With 12 billion working days being lost each year due to mental health issues. This epitomizes the importance of checking in with yourself and prioritizing your mental state of mind.
If you are feeling down or stressed, it is so important to question why this may be and take the necessary steps that you know will make yourself feel better. This could be something as simple as going on a 5-minute walk outside or doing a quick yoga routine. It is important not to push these feelings aside because if you do they will only intensify. There are many exercises you can undertake which have proven to help people suffering from mental health issues. These include regular exercise such as running, yoga, and mindfulness.
8: Stay connected
It is likely you and your colleagues may start feeling distant from one another, due to not being able to physically interact with each other. Therefore it is very important that you check in with each other. Setting up a support group of colleagues can help with this. In this group, you could video call each other, see how your days are going, help each other out with certain tasks. This will aid and your colleagues in feeling more connected to one another and will create some social interaction into an otherwise potentially isolating day. This will also help to achieve a positive mental state during these challenging times.
9: Have breaks
Working from home can feel like you have to constantly be on call as your personal space has now become your workspace, and it can sometimes feel like there’s no escaping it. It is vital to have regular 10-minute breaks, which have been scientifically proven to significantly improve productivity and concentration levels. Facilitating successful remote working.