Embrace Working From Home

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With the current Covid-19 outbreak, a lot of people are currently working from home, (including us!). For those who have never worked from home before, the premise can be quiet daunting, maybe you’ve already been working from home and noticed you’re not quite as focused as you should be and the distractions are more than you thought, well fear not, we have put together a list of top tips to make working from home, work for you. 

1. Claim your workspace. 
First things first create your workspace; it may mean changing the function of a room for a little while but having a dedicated workspace is essential to helping you focus. Ideally this would be in any room other than your bedroom, to keep your bedroom a relaxation only zone. If you don’t already have a desk at home, using a table or purchasing a desk and taking over a room that isn’t used all that often, such as the dining room or a spare room, will help minimise disturbances. If you also have your little ones at home or you live in a house share be sure to set some rules about who can come into your workspace and when, setting these ground rules will minimise distractions during work hours.

2. Maintain work hours. 
Maintain the hours you would do regularly; you still need to maintain a good work – life balance. Set a schedule and make sure you stick to it, it can be easy to never switch off when working from home, especially with the current advice to self-isolate and social distancing, it may be that your stuck for things to do and just think you may as well work. Don’t. Set your work times and be sure to switch off your computer or laptop at the end of the workday. 

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3. Start the day off right. 
Creating a morning routine will help get you ready for the day ahead and be less sleepy at your desk. Granted you can change up your regular routine and sleep in for a little longer, seeing as there is no morning commute anymore, but having your morning tea or coffee before getting ready as you normally would (shower, makeup, hair etc…)  will get you in the right frame of mind for the day’s work. As tempting as it may be to work in your pyjamas all day, it’s best to still get changed and have a distinction between work and relaxation clothes. Essentially follow your regular routine as much as you can, so you are fresh and focused when you actually sit down ready to start working. 

4. Take all Breaks. 
When in the office, breaks are a quintessential part of the work day, allowing people to take a breather and socialise with colleagues, if you think of how much time you actually spend sat at your desk I’m sure some of us would be surprised at just how many time we get up to make a cup of tea or coffee or just nip to the toilet. Replicating all these small breaks allows people to stretch their legs and break up the workday. With no other co-workers around to socialise with it can be easy to work through your lunch break or not take the entire break, set an alarm on your phone and don’t return to your computer until your alarm goes off. Take the time to check social media for any updates or check in on your colleagues have a group video chat or phone call, replicating the socialisation we’d have on any regular day but of course in a safe way. 

5. Silence your phone. 
Speaking of social media, It’s highly advisable to mute your notifications on your phone during work hours, sure everyone takes a sneak peek at their messages when in the office, but when at home it’s a lot easier to get pulled into a back and forth conversation or a scrolling marathon and before you know it it’s been half an hour and you’re a year down someone’s timeline. Try not to do that. Save the scrolling and non-work-related messaging for your breaks. 

6. Stay active
When possible try and get outside for some fresh air, be sure to practice social distancing! Maybe just take a walk around the block or to a local park, should you be unable to venture out into the world, why not just take a moment in your own garden, there’s nothing worse than being in the same four walls for days on end, we all need to get a little sunlight where we can! Whilst getting your daily dose of fresh air try to get some light exercise in there. Go for a jog around the block but again, be sure to social distance. Even just a few stretches and a light workout in the garden will help keep you energised for the rest of the day, plus it will make it a little easier when it comes to getting back in the office.

7. Self-care  
In these uncertain times be sure to take care of your mental health as well as your physical. Keeping your routine as closely as you can and using the tips above will help bring some structure and normality to your days and stop you getting overwhelmed. Try some meditating exercises after work to help you wind down and destress. Always take time for some self-care and be sure to check in with your family, friends and colleagues via video calls or messages where possible maintaining these social bonds will benefit both you and them and help avoid any of us getting lonely.  
Remember we’re all in this together and we will come out the other side! Keep in touch (not physically) and follow the guidelines on - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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