Working From Home
In the beginning of March 2019 my office was made completely remote. We were a small team working in a large office, our work was 100% done through computers and we didn’t attend a lot of meetings. The company therefore decided to make the whole team remote.
It was a little intimidating for all of us at first, we enjoyed each others company and it was great to be able to keep work and home separate from each other. These new circumstances needed adjusting to and to do that we had about 3 months notice. We started by slowly decreasing our time in the office and would work from home 2-3 days a week.
I quickly found that I really enjoyed working from home, I have a dog and was able to go out for a walk with her during my lunch break, I was less constrained in working set hours and could easily run errands. It was also great because it allowed me to easily visit my partner who lives in England without taking any time off.
There are so many upsides to working from home but as time passed I realised one day for example that I hadn’t left my house for 2 days! So I set myself a sort of framework to follow. Here are a few tips my team and I shared with each other and I found incredibly helpful.
Create a designated workspace for yourself
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a house with a spare office room, make yourself a designated work area. Maybe it’s a little corner in your kitchen, a spot in the living room or a tiny desk in your bedroom as was in my case. When the lines between work and your private life become blurred just having that space set aside can be a great separator.
Don’t work in your pyjamas
I didn’t stick to this rule all the time and would usually start by responding to emails etc still in bed. But I found that when I did work in my pyjamas I felt as if I’d accomplished less, even though I’d been just as productive. Again just making that mental separation in your mind you’re at work now really helped. As tempting as it is to have a cozy day working in your pj’s it can help putting another outfit on, it doesn’t have to be a button down shirt just a different outfit than what you wore to bed.
Go out for a walk before starting work
My coworker suggested this and it worked so well for me! I usually struggle with waking up in the mornings, especially during those long winter months, but just taking it easy and going for a short walk with my dog really cleared my head. Getting some fresh air is a great start to the day.
Schedule time to meet up with friends/colleagues/family
When you don’t have that inbuilt social setting it can be easy to become isolated, especially if you live alone for example. I found that every week I’d try to plan meeting up with a friend for a quick lunch, or immediately after work so that I’d be forced to stop working at a certain time. This way I also had something to look forward to.
Write down your daily goals and hold yourself accountable
My first few days working from home were a bit challenging because I’m very easily distracted. When I was working at the office there weren’t a lot distractions so I could really focus on what I was doing. At home I found that after making myself lunch I’d start loading the dishwasher or cleaning the kitchen or playing with Panda (my dog). It’s great to be able to take a break and do something physical when you’re working on a computer all day but getting lost in a task wasn’t so great. What I started doing was setting myself goals and working on each one for 1-2 hours then taking a quick break to stand up and stretch or play with Panda. I was a lot more productive this way and my working day didn’t stretch into the evening.