02 April 2020 by Madison Potter
With the U.K. currently in lockdown, most people are now working from home, and for most this is a new concept. Working from home can be great, but when you can't leave the house you can start to get "cabin fever". It can be hard to figure out what routine works for you and it can be hard to keep work and home life separate when they're both happening in the same place.
Like you, our staff are currently working from home as well, and we have found some effective ways to help ensure you stay motivated but also ensure you maintain a good mental state.
Don't Sleep in
Just because your office is in your house and you no longer need to commute into work, don't sleep in! Wake up around the usual time you would, eat breakfast, have your coffee and start work at your typical clock in time.
Create a new morning routine
Since you are no longer commuting into work, this is the perfect time to start a new morning routine that will get you out of bed and ready for the day! There are so many options here to fill your time and help you get motivated. Here are a few things we suggest:
Pretend you are in the office
If you can have a designated work area, this may not be easy for everyone, but if you have somewhere you can even set up a table, do it! This will help keep work and home life separate and no matter what, do not make your office space your bed or the couch, this will make it very difficult for you to focus and stay motivated. Doing work on your bed may also affect your sleep as your brain will start associating your bed with work and may have a hard time switching off.
Do not stay in your P.J.s all day, when you wake up, get ready as if you were going into work. If you don't want to put a full face of makeup on or a suit and tie, at least get out of your P.J.s. Put some yoga pants on, a sweater and some mascara and for men put on some comfy pants and a t-shirt, maybe put some gel in your hair! Getting ready, or even semi-ready will help motivate you to get down to work and not get distracted and feeling lazy.
When working from home, it sometimes can be hard to stay focused, and this will most likely be hardest in the first week or two when you perhaps would rather be watching Netflix or playing your Xbox, that will get boring at some stage too. When working try listening to instrumental music, this way, you are not sitting in silence or getting distracted by others in your house. Also, stay in contact with your co-workers, they are in the same situation as you, have a video chat with them every day if you can, talk about work and chat about life. It's ok to be social while working from home, you would do this if you were in the office.
Get up and move
Whether in the office or working from home, sitting at a desk all day can be bad for your body and mind. Try and get up and move every hour even if it's for only 5 minutes. Do a quick stretch, walk up and down the stairs a few times, use an exercise ball and sit on that for an hour, do some jumping jacks or push-ups, the point is, just move!
Keep work and home life separate
This is going to be a be harder since your work life is now in your home, but make sure you keep to your regular office hours, and when you are done work, log off everything, so you do not bring work into your home life. Since your office is right there, this is more common than you think.
Sometimes when working from home, you will get work done a lot faster, or in today's situation, work may be a bit lighter than usual. Take this time to improve your skills, see if there are some online courses you can take, educate yourself with free tools; YouTube is a great place to find information to expand your abilities. Udemy and Shaw Academy have courses in almost anything you can think of for reasonably cheap, they usually give special offers every other day so keep your eye on them!
Stay health & active
Being confined to your home means you may let some things slip, such as eating healthy and exercise. To be fair when you can't leave your home, we understand all this may become harder for you to stay motivated. But you need to continue to live a healthy lifestyle as best you can. This will help you stay in the right frame of mind. A lot of fitness and health influencers are giving advice and lesson online for free for everyone staying home. Check out some fitness and health Instagramers and see what they are offering on their platforms. Here are a few blogs & YouTube channels we found to help you get started (most who have Instagram as well, make sure to check their pages):
We are experiencing a new way of living, with so much uncertainty, you need to ensure you are keeping yourself busy, healthy and happy. On your weekends, find a new hobby or take up a new activity you maybe always wanted to do but never had the time to do it, while still social distancing.
Try and chat with your friends on the phone as much as you can, have a "night out" using various apps on your Saturday nights, grab some wine/beer and have some ‘bants’ with your mates! Play a board game with your family, learn to cook something new, learn how to paint, get into arts and crafts with the kids, finally sign up for TikTok and see what the craic is.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Stay Active & Stay Home!