I am sure that just a few months ago, everyone who was working in the office, day in and day out, thought that the idyllic working lifestyle was to be able to kick back on the couch, with the laptop and work from home. The last two months in the UK has seen these dreams come undone, as the reality of working from home has set in; it isn’t as easy and as dreamy as once thought. The reality of working from home is that for the majority of us it is actually quite hard. The routine you once cursed of getting up, dressed and the daily commute is now somewhat missed and longed for. The family, the dog, the TV, the nice weather, all creating distractions and mental noise. Adding to all of that, you still have your superiors virtually checking up on you, making sure targets are still being hit. If anything it feels as though the scrutiny of your work and productivity levels are somewhat magnified, as no one can physically see you working.
All of this creates stress and ironically, this stress makes you less productive, unfocused and demotivated. So with all that being said, how can we help?
We have comprised a list of things that you can do each day, to make sure that you are limiting the amount of stress and mental noise in your home working environment.
It’s very easy to end up on the couch or pull the laptop into bed but you should be creating a workspace somewhere in the home. This doesn’t have to be the spare room or a self-made office; no, this just needs to be somewhere that has the smallest amount of distraction, no TV, minimal noise or traffic from the family.
Some of the best instances of workplaces are actually somewhere you have to create physically each day. Maybe a temporary table facing the wall to put your laptop on, that you only put up when you are working and you take down as soon as you are finished.
As humans, we love routine. Routine is in everything we do. Love it or hate it our normal pre-work routine gets us in the mindset for work and the day ahead.
Since we aren’t travelling to the office anymore this routine is out the window. However, the most successful home workers have a solid routine;
Whatever you want your morning routine to be, stick and commit to it. You will see the benefits almost immediately.
We aren’t robots, we know that there are going to be distractions through the day. In the office these are limited, but we still allow ourselves breaks. So set your day out before you start work, include things like coffee or tea breaks and lunch. Also, speak with your family (or who you live with), what problems can they bring to you during work time. When can they definitely not distract you? This may be a simple trigger like you have your headphones on, or you’re on the phone. How can they help you to work?
This is a great time to actually pick up the phone. Working from home is very isolated at times, so speaking to people can really help with your mental wellbeing and motivation. You will also be able to work through projects much quicker as sometimes, tone and nuance are lost in a skype, email or whatsapp chat.
Finally take advantage of the fact that your customers are LONGING to speak to people also. We are all having to deal with social distancing. You may be able to find out so much more about your clients and understand their business that bit more.
These tips are a great way to stay focused and minimise stress whilst working from home. If you have any tips please feel free to share them below or on any of our social channels.