Working from home is one of the most popular benefits jobseekers look for in modern times. It is an essential aspect of flexible working and possibly the future of work. However, something people can struggle with when it comes to remote working is the lack of routine. Employees can find it difficult to motivate and discipline themselves throughout the day, and this can result in stress and mental fatigue.
An important part of any working schedule is establishing a routine, whether you are in or out of the office. The majority of successful people agree that it contributes to them being more productive, and their overall happiness. It is especially important for those who are new to remote working, and need some sort of structure to get them focused for the day ahead. We have therefore put together this short piece on some top tips to implement when working from home.
- Don’t let your phone be the first thing you look at
Think of it this way, you are more than likely going to be looking at a screen all day, whether that be working on your laptop, checking emails on your phone or taking calls via Skype or a similar software. With this in mind, it makes little sense that the first thing you look at in the morning and during your preparation time pre work is another screen. Buying an old fashioned alarm clock and making the first hour of your day screen free is a much better option, and one which could help your productivity in the long run. Think of that first hour pre work as an opportunity to do whatever you like, whether that be reading a book, taking a leisurely breakfast or even some exercise or meditation. Putting your phone in another room while you sleep could be a good way to resist temptation or else just leaving it far away from your bed could be another option. If you have a health tracking device such as a Fitbit, you can then use this as your alarm and to check the time instead. This slight reduction in screen time is something which is highly important in working from home, as you don’t have your usual break which you might have when going to and from the office.
- Treat it as a regular working day
While it may be tempting to just stay in your pyjamas all day and remain in bed until noon, it’s also important to stay ahead of the curve. Making an effort to get up at the same time you normally would, and following the routine of a normal working day is important in achieving your maximum output. You may not have to get into your usual corporate wardrobe, but even showering and putting on a jumper and jeans (if you don’t have any important video calls of course) can make you feel more alert and ready for business as usual. It will also make things less stressful if and when you do head back into the office, as you won’t need to reacclimatise as much. Sticking to a schedule like this means you can get as much as possible out of your day, and will reduce your chances of falling behind with work and deadlines.
- Take the time to do some exercise
As working from home eliminates the time spent commuting out of your daily routine, you should use this to invest in something which benefits you. So put away the Netflix and plan in some daily exercise! Working out in the morning can help you feel more alert and energised, both mentally and physically. When one is working from home, it generally means you spend the majority of your day inside, so taking this time to get some fresh air if you can is imperative to your overall health and wellbeing. Weather permitting, getting out for a 30 minute walk, jog or cycle can really help kick start your day, or alternatively taking part in an online workout or some home yoga. Essentially, exercising before or during your working day is setting yourself up for success. You’re operating at your optimum energy and productivity levels, and this increase in serotonin will help keep your moods balanced and alleviate stress.
- Ensure you eat a nutritious breakfast
We’ve heard it time and time again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But how many of us actually take the time to prepare and eat a nutritious breakfast on a regular basis? When in the office, we may take breakfast as an opportunity to get a break away from the desk and possibly grab a coffee with a colleague, but can the same be said at home? Working from home should actually provide you with the extra time needed to prepare a nutritious breakfast, and access to a greater variety of ingredients as you’ll be inside your own kitchen. By indulging in a balanced meal such as oats and fruit or wholegrain toast and eggs, you’re automatically boosting your energy levels, improving your focus and lifting your mood. While it may be easier to spend that extra few minutes in bed, you won’t regret setting yourself up right for the day.
- Create a structured work space
By making your work space separate from your sleeping one, you’re already creating that distinction between relaxing and getting down to work. If at all possible, your work space should be as similar to an office environment as can be - so think a desk, proper chair and good lighting. As you’re going to be at this workspace all day, and don’t have the luxury of a cleaner as you may in the office, you should dedicate some time each day to setting it up. Tidying away all unnecessary paper and notes, giving the desk a quick wipe down and removing any other clutter will ensure you have a clean, tidy workspace to concentrate in. Stock up on stationary and other office essentials as well so you have an adequate supply at your disposal. You may even want to put photo frames or calendars up at your desk, the same way you might in the office. A tidy desk often equals a tidy mind!
While working from home is something which is desirable, and now often essential for many of us, it is not without its challenges. Starting off by mapping out your daily routine and sticking to it can really help with this. Are you new to working from home or adjusting to running a business that is? Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss this or any other recruitment related support we can offer.