With the latest government information surrounding COVID-19, more and more companies are implementing work from home policies.
The good news is that although this is an unusual and scary situation, it also presents an opportunity – when things eventually go back to normal, we might come out the other side having discovered an even better way of working – 77% of remote employees say they are more productive when working from home.
Remote working is an adjustment that takes some getting used to when we’re conditioned to the 9-5 grind, and the initial adjustment period can be difficult.
Here are our top tips for staying productive when working remotely, and how to stay positive during what is a weird, uncertain time.
Set a New Normal Morning Routine
Your standard morning routine will inevitably change. Gone are the days of snoozing the 6:30AM alarm and rushing around to make sure you don’t miss your tram.
Even though you’re skipping the daily commute, you shouldn’t skip your morning preparations. It may be tempting to wake up 5 minutes before you’re due to log in, but getting out of bed at least 30 minutes early ensures you have time to mentally prepare for the day ahead.
Set a new normal. Whether that’s a cup of coffee while you set up your workspace, a 30-minute yoga session, walking your dog, or even just putting proper clothes on, having a routine will keep you motivated and ready for a day of productivity.
Get Out of the Sweatpants
The idea of staying in your pyjamas all day is definitely appealing. But getting dressed will put you in a more professional mindset, and psychologically prepare you for work.
The first few days of working from home are great – no more lengthy commutes with your head stuck in someone’s armpit, extra time to do boring household chores in your breaks, and unlimited access to all the snacks!
Nevertheless, it’s important to establish a balance between work-life and actual life. When you literally live at the office, it can be easy to overwork yourself. The dreaded burnout is real.
Stick to your regular working hours – and make it mandatory to finish on time. Your bed might tempt you to stay a little longer without the need to leave the house, or you may overwork because your laptop is right there, but sticking to your hours ensures the most efficient working day for you.
Unless you’re Self-Isolating, Get Outside
The advice is to stay indoors as much as possible, especially if you live in a big city like Manchester or London. However, working remotely doesn’t mean staying cooped up at your desk going stir crazy.
As long as you are not self-isolating, go outside for a short walk, change of scenery and some much-needed fresh air. It will help clear your head, and you’ll feel fresh and ready to take on your next task. Don’t forget to wash your hands as soon as you return home!
If you are self-isolating, opening the windows and letting in natural light will still do you the world of good and stop you feeling claustrophobic.
Schedule Regular Breaks
No one wants work to become monotonous, and spending every single minute of the day at home can make you restless. Take breaks throughout the day – being glued to a screen isn’t good for anybody! Get up and move around to break up your day just as you would if you were in the office.
The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking work up into 30-minute chunks with regular 5-minute breaks which helps prevent the brain from getting overly tired. This way of working has been found to be more beneficial than less frequent, longer breaks.
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