Bet you never thought you’d miss the office! You might do by now though, if you’ve been working from home for the last three months and may be doing so for a while longer yet.
There are many great things about working from home but it’s easy to lose any sense of work-life balance when there’s no external routine. Here are 5 ways to make working from home easier while boosting your productivity and maintaining your physical and mental health.
5 Tips to Make Working From Home Easier
Working from home was originally a short-term measure to help flatten the COVID curve.
But you’ve probably been working at home for a fairly long time now – easily around three months if your office closed in March.
Whenever your office does reopen, you may find that working life looks very different. Workplaces are considering how to operate as safely as possible. That may mean staggered start times where you work from home initially then go into the office later. Or it may mean that you work from home on certain days and go into the office on others.
So, how do you make working from home work for you? It may have been fun initially but, if you’re going to be working from home for a while. It’s important to make it as easy and effective as possible.
Here are 5 ways to make working from home easier.
1. Set Yourself Up Properly
This requires a bit of a mental shift. If you’re working from home temporarily or occasionally doing a bit of evening work, then working on the kitchen bench is fine. However, if you’re working from home in some form or other, then you need to set yourself up properly.
Look around your house or apartment. Where could you create an office space? It doesn’t need to be huge (an unused corner will do) but will need power points, natural light and space for a desk, chair and computer.
To prevent pain in your neck, lower spine or wrists, it’s important to adjust the height of your desk, seat and screen so that you’re sitting in a safe, supported position. (Come and see us at The Brisbane Spine Clinic if you’re struggling with pain or discomfort that could be due to your posture at your workspace).
2. Establish a Routine
Working in an office tends to create its own routine. You leave home at a certain time to catch your bus, you take your lunch break when everyone else does, and you head home when the office empties.
Working from home can easily erase the dividing lines between different parts of your life. It’s too easy to let work bleed into every aspect of your day.
Establishing a routine can help combat this. Try to start and finish work at a regular time each day.
A set finish time actually makes you more productive. You know you don’t have time to waste so you focus and get things done. That’s far better than working on and on into the evening, as your concentration drops and your productivity plummets. Turning off the computer also gives you a chance to relax and recharge after work – that refreshes you and makes you more productive next day.
3. Take Breaks
You’d be surprised how much unproductive time there is in an office. You pop down to the coffee cart in the lobby, you sit in meetings that go on far longer than necessary, and you get drawn into watercooler conversations with your colleagues.
So, don’t feel guilty for taking some breaks at home. Ideally, you should take a 15-20 minute break every 50 minutes. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to work more productively.
4. Stay Mobile
Before or after work, get out of the house. Going for a run or walk before you start work can help to boost your mood, reduce your stress levels and get your brain working.
5. Connect With Your Colleagues
Often, you enjoy your job because of the people you work with as well as the work you do.
But you and your colleagues have now spent several months working from home. You might be missing their banter and finding your job more difficult without easy access to their advice. Working at home alone can get everyone down after a while.
A strong team is important in any workplace. Here are some ideas for virtual team bonding during COVID-19, which you may be able to tailor to suit your office culture.
When it’s done well, working from home can be a great experience. You may grow to love the convenience and flexibility. Hopefully, with these tips, you can minimise the downsides of living where you can work and working where you live.