Ten Top Tips: Working From Home Efficiently

In this uncertain and daunting time with the world pandemic of Covid19, it is becoming more and more common for people to work from home. If this isn't something you have ever done before, the prospect can be many things, scary, difficult, boring or isolating. The fact however is, that you could possibly lead a healthier and happier life working from home if you implement the right tips and tricks. Working from home has its benefits, and for the foreseeable future at least, it's good for people to self isolate in order to stop the spread of Covid19. If you are currently concerned about your health or someone else's, please use the NHS Guide to assist you which can be found here

So how exactly can you survive the quarantine period at home, efficiently, happily, healthily and even possibly eco-friendly? It's time to find out how. 

It's all about balance. As with anything in life, working from home may very wrong, suddenly being in the domain that you usually relax in but if you know that you thrive in this environment and have always easily felt that you could do you work from home, then this could be your time to really shine and also reassess your career in general. Many jobs indeed can be done at home; for many industries however, this just isn't an option and it's important to remember that working from home in this time is in fact a luxury and must be treated as so. The problem may in fact be that in the end, you feel too comfortable working from home and the change back to the office 9-5 life may be too taxing. However, by working from home you are already:

  • Relieving carbon emissions from driving or using public transport
  • Less energies/powers used collectively in the offices 
  • Ability to continue using your eco-friendly lifestyle at home if your office doesn't support.

Tip Number One - Keep Working Hours Strict! 

It is very easily to slip out of the 9-5 routine and choose 11-7 or midday until midnight, and these are unhealthy for the mind and body. Stick to your routine as you would at work. This is important for your body clock and your state of mind. Have a designated hour for work and extra time for breaks. Screen breaks and short walks are brilliant to stay healthy. Set timers on your phone if you have to, this way you do not get distracted by the time when you are away from your colleagues. 

Tip Number Two - Keep Hydrated

It's easy to not keep hydrated when you're working, and this applies in the office as well at home. Whilst it's much easier to nip to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, it's much better to not take too much to 'feel' like you're at home. You are only based at home. Your office has picked up and moved to your house, but you are still working. Ensure you have an eco-friendly water bottle or a regular bottle of choice to keep topped up with water. Add a little bit of fruit to add to flavour and vitamins. Take a look below to shop: 

 Shop here

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Tip Number Three - Try And Create An Office Space

Having your own space at home may be difficult depending on your living circumstances. However, if you are able, create a little desk space wherever possible and add to it all the essentials as if you are back in the office. This will allow you to feel as if you are at work. If you feel comfortable working from bed then that too is OK but for those who need a little bit more incentive, then creating a working space will be vital. This may also be investing in an office chair (if your business is allowing this on expenses) but if not, ensure that you can still support your lumbar region if you are relying on a dining room table. Lumbar cushions are available quite plentifully, so this is undoubtedly going to assist you when your poor posture starts to take its toll.

Wayfair have plenty of incredible choices for desks that range from small pieces to larger spaces for your work, no matter what it is. In addition to this, they have plenty of styles to adapt to any type of decor or colouring you have in your home. Shop here.

Desk space

Tip Number Four - Block Out Distractions 

If you live at home with others, you may find turning off difficult. However, it is possible to utilise your headphones to their best advantage. If you don't have a pair of noise cancelling headphones you can always purchase a pair if you think it will benefit. If not, there are plenty of Apps that offer white noise and noise cancelling sounds that should allow you to block out the surroundings. Some of the best Apps are:

  1. myNoise
  2. Relax Melodies
  3. White Noise Lite
  4. Noisli
  5. Parrot Zik
Tip Number Five - Get Dressed At The Very Least 

It isn't customary to put on a face of make up every day if you're working from home but getting dressed to a relatively professional standard will ensure that you are feeling more as you would out and about and gives you a bigger incentive every day to work. It's certainly easy to sit around in PJs. Comfortable and practical clothing is best but this will allow you to feel less sluggish, especially after lunch. 

Tip Number Six - Take Walks After Working Hours 

Keeping active is by far one of the most difficult things for those who work from home to keep up with. It can affect you relatively quickly and getting unfit is certainly something that will hinder you in your daily life. Be sure to take a brisk walk as and when you can, either before , this applies to going to the gym. If you go to the gym before or after work, then keep that routine going. It's important to not let this slide because once your body adjust to a new, less active routine, it will take extra effort to regain that level of fitness you desire. 

Tip Number Seven - Let Your Surroundings Inspire You 

Allow this quiet time (if you have this at home) to inspire you. Your home is most likely your haven, with items around you that inspire. Create a mood board, now is certainly the time to make the most of upping the positive vibes in your life day to day. The lovely Victoria [Apartment Number 4] wrote a whole Blog post dedicated to creating a stellar vision board - click here to read. Whether it's surrounding yourself with photos of the things you want, using crystals and candles, there are lots of things you can do and keep around you at home that would not be permitted in your office, so it's time to start embracing this. 

Tip Number Eight - Put Your Phone Into Flight Mode

Whilst this may seem a relatively easy tip, it is more than easy to be distracted by social media and other messages. Without a boss hovering over your shoulder, or other prying eyes, you will find that there is no harm in checking your phone every so often but this is a very bad assumption to make. Ensure you keep it in flight mode or in another room altogether and disassociate yourself with it as you would to avoid distraction. Messages and social media can wait, see it as your end of the day treat to see what you've been missing out on, but avoid using it during the 9-5 working day.

Tip Number Nine - Don't Let Yourself Become Too Isolated

All of us are certainly at risk of becoming isolated regardless of working from home or still working with the public. The dangers of this are also important to consider, as social contact is important for our mental health. If you are concerned about gathering in large groups at home, then be sure that you take the time to have phone calls, video chats or agree to meet in a safe open space such as a park to have light exercise and a catch up. Walking in open spaces is still considered safe at this point in time. Losing touch with reality is one issue that you may encounter in the early days of working from home but it is fixable.

Tip Number Ten - Be Eco-Conscious With Energy 

Working from home will naturally up your household bills. We will use more heating and more hot water. If you are conscious of this or worried about the impact it may have on your quest for eco-friendly living, you can always opt for some simple changes within the house that could assist you. Firstly as we approach spring, you may still find the weather is cold and you do not want to be cold in the house. Limit your usage by having the heating on for set hours and then allow it to cool before turning the heating back up. You can also look at some other little tips:

  1. Use hot water bottles to keep you warm 
  2. Wear extra layers
  3. Use blankets to sit on your lap which will also keep you cosy 
  4. Unplug things that don't need to be on all day
  5. Use energy efficient bulbs 
  6. Eat all left over foods and reheat where possible 
  7. Utilise your radiators to dry clothes instead of your tumble dryer (it also makes you house smell divine)

At the moment, the biggest priority for all is to minimise contact, go out less into public places and try to slow the spread of the virus. Working from home does in fact have a huge number of benefits and although the new routine may take some time and it may feel a relentless struggle, you will quickly find your feet. Take the time to meditate if you can, write down your worries but write down your goals too. Realise that you're most likely saving money and think of what you are capable of - because it is a lot.

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