Millions of people all over the world are currently sitting at makeshift desks, typing away and making calls to colleagues and clients from kitchens, home offices, and dining room tables. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a mass exodus from offices, resulting in many of us adapting to a different kind of workspace. If you’re working from home, here's how to do it better and make the most of the working day.
1. Designate a workspace
One of the main issues people face when working from home is the abundance of distractions. We’ve all seen video clips of video calls being interrupted by dogs or children. Many of us will be familiar with the task of trying to work while looking after kids, tending to furry friends, and negotiating quiet time in a house full of people.
When you’re working, try to find a peaceful spot far away from the hustle and bustle of family life or the buzz of a living room filled with roommates. If you don’t have the luxury of a home office, try to identify an area you can turn into a temporary workspace. Perhaps you could commandeer the kitchen, turn a spare room into a study, or use a corner of the living room while your housemates work elsewhere.
Use screens or close doors to section off quiet zones and invest in versatile furniture to combine work and leisure. If you have a spare room, for example, you could swap a bed for a futon to make space for a desk.
Next, personalize the space using photographs or wall art such as picture quotes, and make sure you’re comfortable. You need to be able to sit at a desk or a table and maintain good posture. If you don’t have an office chair, use a pillow or a cushion to support the base of your spine, and try to keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Angle your desk towards windows and doors to maximize natural light.
2. Establish a routine
Many of us have a set routine when we work. We get up at the same time every day and make our way to the office, we log on and log off at set times. If you’re working from home, you can apply the same rules, but you can be more flexible. You might want to start work earlier than 9 am and finish before 5 pm, for example.
Play to your strengths and liaise with clients and colleagues to establish a routine that suits you. If you have similar working hours every day, this will help you plan ahead and it should make it easier to concentrate and work through your to-do list. When you’re at home, embrace the freedom of taking control of your schedule. If you struggle, use a tool like the Productivity Planner to help you.
You may find that you have more time available because you’re not commuting. Use this time to exercise, enjoy some fresh air, connect with others, and indulge hobbies and interests. It’s crucial to strike a healthy work-life balance to boost your health and wellbeing during this challenging time.
Working from home is the new normal for many of us. If you’re now based at home, hopefully, this guide will help you make the most of your new lockdown arrangements. If you want more suggestions on making the most of this experience, read our article This Is How You Work From Home Like A Pro.