Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Perhaps you used to love the odd ‘work from home’ day to get that extra lie in, or work in your slippers all day, but if your entire working routine flipped on its head overnight it may take some time getting used to. We’ve gathered the tips and tricks to make this transition easier and keep you productive, healthy, in touch with your team (and sane!) in your new working environment.
It’s tempting to get up at 8:55am and read your first few emails from bed, but keeping a healthy routine is important in separating your work life from your home life. Commiting to this helps you maintain a normal work-life balance, and is essential to ensuring you can switch off from work mode even though work and life may be in the one home now. For example, working from bed can condition your brain to think that your bed is a place of work now, confusing your brain when you then try to sleep in bed, affecting your usual sleeping pattern. Many go as far as getting dressed in work attire before starting their work day from home as this helps them not blur the lines between work and home time.
Make going to work, whether that’s two steps away from your room or 10, a place you love to go. Choose your dedicated workspace and keep it consistent, in fact make it personal. Try finding a place with some natural lighting, or a spot quiet from the rest of the house if possible. Now add in those touches to make it better. Is that a diffuser so it always has a nice scent, or a speaker if you work better with some background noise? Find your work groove and dedicate some time to setting it up properly and neatly. It’s also your new backdrop for video interviews or meetings, so a nice setting can make a big difference.
What commute? You’ve probably just gained anywhere from an hour to three in time you used to spend travelling to and from work. Remember that time you never had to fit that work out in, read that book, or call your Grandma? Grab onto this extra time with both hands! Try making a plan of how you’ll use it, and do so before logging on or clocking out for the day. Try keeping away from your phone or computer outside of your working hours. A quick check of an email and you could find your mind absorbed on work when you’re meant to be enjoying some ‘me time.’ Don’t feel guilty, it’s necessary in keeping you creative, focused and well rested.
If you can, keep your interactions face-to-face but through videos instead. Instant messaging can be handy, but once everyone is all working remotely on the one channel all trying to reach one another, it can get overwhelming. Book in time together for both work-related tasks and for catch ups. Regularly communicating with your colleagues in the closest way you’re used to as possible help keeps that strong bond alive and cultivates open and positive communication so you continue working strongly as a team from wherever you are.
You’re going to be spending a lot more time at home than you’re used to. With that money you’re saving on the commute, why not reward yourself with a few new things so you feel less like your new worklife is missing those perks you were used to. Perhaps the instant coffee isn’t quite cutting it after a few days, so why not treat yourself to a better coffee machine, a more comfortable chair, or a plant to add some greenery as you get used to spending more time indoors? Find what makes you more content, and give permission to treat yourself, mindfully!