Our 8 tips to remain productive while working from home
We are aware that the reality we are facing right now is unprecedented. And we also know that these uncertain times might generate a lot of anxiety and stress. Because of this, it is more important than ever for us to keep spreading positivity and sharing wellbeing content. This article is one of the series to support employees in transitioning into working from home and remaining well in the process, physically, mentally and emotionally.
We know it might feel challenging to suddenly be working from home. No workplace to go to, no rush to get ready and leave the house in the morning to be on time at nursery, school and work… Yet we still have the same workload to do (if not more). To support you in this transition, we selected for you our top tips to remain productive and positive (and well!) while working from home. Here they are:
Don’t stay in your pyjamas: it can be tempting to set up your alarm for as late as possible and go straight from your bed to your laptop. As you might expect reading this article, this is not the best option for productivity and wellbeing. A morning routine is much better! Without making things too complicated or too hard to achieve (you can work on a new morning routine later), try to do as if you were going to work. Follow your usual morning routine, get ready, have breakfast, install your ‘workspace’ at home and only then, start working.
Separate your ‘workspace’ from the rest of your space: try to work from a different room and not on the kitchen table if possible. That would enable you to leave work at work at the end of the working day even if you stay in the same house. If it is not possible because space does not allow, of course work on the kitchen table! However, try to clear your ‘workspace’ at the end of the day and re-install it in the morning. That would help you to find closure at the end of the working day, and to turn your space back into a ‘personal space’.
Eat healthily: Free access to the chocolate cupboard, no time to cook something in the middle of the day before the next virtual team meeting, eating worse at home than usually at work… Why not trying to plan ahead? In the evening, after your working day, you might want to try to cook a big pot of food that you will also enjoy the following day. Or cut all your vegetables that you would just need to fry or warm up. Or have healthy snacks at hand so that you can avoid being tempted by high sugary stuff. Make it as easy as possible to eat healthy, and you will also feel much more productive, because yes, what you eat influences your energy levels!
Take breaks: Breaks are necessary for our productivity yet we might forget about them when working from home. The good thing about working from home is that no co-workers can see or comment on what you do when you take a break. So, between us, doing a 30 minutes HIIT session in the morning between 2 meetings is absolutely fine (and amazing core workout!). Make your breaks fun, get creative, do what you love for 30 minutes (minimum) twice a day (minimum). You will get much more productive when you work, and much more positive in your body and mind.
Get some fresh air: self-isolating and social distancing are not the best options when it gets to us getting enough fresh air. Yet it is essential for our brains to function at their best. Go out in your garden or on your balcony once per day (at least) or go for a walk around the block during one of your breaks. It will really help your productivity and wellbeing!
Do not do ‘house stuff’ during your working hours: remember how you usually do when you are at work. You have limited time to do these ‘house stuff’, and if the house is not sparkling clean, you still leave the house in the morning to go to work. Take the same approach when working from home: Set your working hours and stick to it. The house stuff will wait, and you can do them after your work is done, when you are less focused and less productive (because no, we don’t need a high level of productivity to fold laundry).
Make sure you sleep enough! Rest is essential for productivity and wellbeing. Remember that you don’t have any school or nursery run anymore, and no commute to go to work either. This should free up some time for you every day. Why not sleeping 30 minutes longer in the morning and go to bed 30 minutes earlier in the evening? You would overall get one hour more sleep during the night and find yourself much more productive while working and overall positive.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Yes, having a daily routine is good to support productivity and wellbeing, yet some days the routine will work, and some others the routine won’t work (at all). Embrace it! Accepting a ‘low’ day and taking it easier on this specific day is going to make you feel much more productive in the following ones!
Here is our ideal daily programme. This one works for us yet might not be working for you: design your own routine, then trial and error it for a week, adjust it for the following week, and you will end up with your perfect working day from home!
6am: wake up
6-7am: morning routine including exercise and meditation (no phone)
7-8am: breakfast and getting ready (still no phone)
10-10:30am: break including physical exercise
12:30-1:30pm: lunch break and short walk outside
3:30-4pm: break including creative activity
4-5pm: finish working day, prepare tomorrow’s working day
5-8pm: rest time, fun time, creative time… house stuff and dinner time
8-9pm: evening routine (unwinding activities)
If you still find it challenging to adjust to working from home, please be patient, it can take a little while to fully find the flow. However, if after a few weeks it is still hard and it is affecting your wellbeing, make sure that you reach out: talk to a colleague, a friend or a family member. You are not alone!
And, if you are a manager and want to support your team members in adjusting to home working, we designed a specific workshop for you - ‘How to remain calm and productive in uncertain times’ – that can be run live online for all your team members to plug in and get support while working from home.
Keep all well and safe!