Tips on how to work from home

With COVID-19 restrictions likely to remain in place for another while, many of us who have been working from home will continue to do so. For some, the transition to WFH (working from home) has been a manageable one. For others, the change has been challenging. If you fall into the latter category, perhaps these pointers will make the situation that little bit easier.

Set aside a special area in your house for work. Whether it’s a separate room, a desk space or a spot at your kitchen table, having a designated work area can be beneficial in many ways. Be sure to pick a spot that’s comfortable, well-lit and not too cramped. A chair with good back support is also essential.

Set your daily schedule. For some of you, your standard work hours will be the same as they would if you were in the office. For others, operating from home will afford you more freedom. Setting specific times to start and finish your work day, as well as when to take breaks, will help you to stay focused.

Make a to-do list. Making a list of all the things you need to do at the start of a given day is a great way of keeping yourself motivated. It might be a good idea to start with the bigger tasks, leaving the easier ones towards the end of the workday when you are more likely to be tired. Tick your objectives off as you go along.

Avoid distractions. Try to keep off social media during work hours. Apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be very distracting so a good trick is to switch off notifications for until you have your work done. You can also download apps that restrict your use of certain sites for a certain period of time. Some distractions, such as interruptions from family or housemates, can be difficult to avoid, but try to make it clear to the people you live with (very politely, of course!) that you need to concentrate between 9am and 5pm, for example.

Get dressed. Staying in your comfortable pyjamas all day can be might seem appealing but dressed up can help you get in the zone, so to speak. It can be easy to slip back into relaxation mode if you’re dressed for bed!

Stand up. Don’t get welded to your desk. Experts recommend that you get up and move around every hour or so. Even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, it’s important for your eyes, your brain and your body to take a break and reset. 

Keep the work-play balance. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you need to work all the time you’re at home. Set boundaries for yourself. If you wouldn’t normally take work calls or answer work emails after 6pm, you shouldn’t do it at home. Take advantage of your free time to relax and unwind.

Go outside. Leaving the house and getting some exercise can really boost your mental well-being. Go for a walk or a jog. Run some errands. Getting some fresh air can make a big difference to your day.