As covid reared its ugly head, thousands of companies across the UK had no option but to start working from home. This new normal of remote working has transformed the ways people work but has brought with it many challenges. To some, working from home online may sound ideal: the prospect of working within the comfort of your own home, having unlimited tea, and not even having to get out of your comfies all day. But the reality of the situation paints a very different picture. Many have admitted to struggling when faced with laborious tasks due to the unlimited array of distractions around. These distractions reduce productivity and break up your day, killing time when you need it most. However, do not fear, Factorial is here to help! This article will guide you through the best work from home tips to aid you in successfully working from home.
- Work from home tips to successfully work from home
- Factorials Time tracking feature
- ✅Try out Factorial’s time tracking feature by registering for free!
Work from home tips to successfully work from home
Work from home tip 1: Stick to your normal routine
There’s always the temptation to have a slower start to your day when working from home. This is due to not having to wake up so early for the commute or even having to get dressed for that matter. But it is always good to get the ball rolling as soon as you wake up. It’s important you wake up at a normal time, shower and get dressed as if it were a normal working day in the office. Psychologically, by preparing yourself as if it were your average working day, it puts you into the right working mindset and prepares you for the day ahead.
2: Stick to 8 hours a day
It is also important to only work the 8 hours you normally would. As when you are working from home it is easy to continue working into the evening, especially if you haven’t finished what you set out to do that day.
When people have to start working from home, their work and personal life merge into one, as it becomes harder to differentiate between both. But it is essential you create boundaries. You must be strict with yourself and stick to your normal routine. You can do this by logging off at a certain time and from then on not talking or even thinking about work. Put away your work tools and electronic devices, keeping your work out of sight and out of mind. This will help you switch off and recharge your batteries. This is vital to achieving a good work-life balance. Which is important not just for your ability to work productively, but more importantly for achieving a positive mental state of mind.
This may be difficult to achieve for those living in a small London apartment. However, it is very important to have a separate space that you can work in. This differentiates your work life and your personal life. Psychologically it is not good for your mental state to work and sleep in the same room, as it merges your work life and personal life into one. This is not healthy, as to be happy it is paramount to have a healthy work-life balance, even more so now that you are working from home.
It is important to have a designated quiet and stress-free space. This will enable you to concentrate and focus on the tasks you must complete. Block out any outside distractions such as the neighbour barking dog, or excess noise from other members of the household. This can be achieved through noise-blocking headphones or by putting on calming music such as the sound of nature. These have been scientifically proven to help you concentrate. Whilst lowering your blood pressure and heart rate by activating the calming part of your brain.
When you are working from home, it is very tempting to just sit and work solidly for 8 hours. Especially if you have a big task looming and you just want to get it done. Additionally, given that you will no longer be commuting to work, it cuts out the opportunity to otherwise get up and move around. It is recommended to get outdoors for at least 45 minutes every morning. By doing this it helps wake your body up and get you out of sleep mode. This is why it is important to try and get some fresh air as soon as you wake up, even if it’s just sipping your coffee in the garden. Other works from home tips include opening a window to let in some fresh air and natural light. Although this may seem like something very small but will greatly improve your working environment.
According to the NHS, in the UK adults spend more than 7 hours a day sitting down, and this figure increases with age to more than 10 hours a day. This is detrimental to your health, with one of the main symptoms being the slowing down of your body’s metabolism, among many other health-related issues; including an increased risk of mortality. It is recommended by health professionals to take an active break from sitting every 30 minutes. This can be easily achieved through making small changes such as having your lunch somewhere away from your desk, going on a 5-minute walk through your neighbourhood or even using a cup instead of a water bottle to increase the number of times you have to get up and walk to the kitchen to fill it up.
One of the most important work from home tips is to regularly check in with yourself. Mental health issues within the workplace are a common concern, as stressful jobs can often exacerbate already existing mental health conditions. Mental health issues are a common cause of long term sickness absence and are estimated to cost the UK between £33 – £42 billion each year. This is why it is very important you check in with yourself, and be in touch with your feelings.
If you are feeling down or stressed ask yourself why that is and take steps to make yourself feel better. This could include taking a quick break to do a 10-minute yoga routine, or just taking a 5-minute walk outside. You must not push any feelings of anxiety or worry aside because then they only worsen. Listen to how you feel and what your body is telling you. There are many extracurricular activities you can also get involved with which are proven to help mental health, such as yoga and mindfulness and regular exercise.
Due to not being able to physically interact with your colleagues you may start feeling quite distant from them. Therefore, to successfully work from home, it is important to regularly check in with them. It is easy to get lonely when working from home. Especially if you live alone and spend all day on your own in your house. You could consider setting up a support group of colleagues. In this group you could have regular video calls, to check in on each other, see how you’re all doing with certain tasks, and ask how each other’s days are going. This will not only increase your productivity levels but will also add some form of social interaction into an otherwise isolated day. This is very important in achieving a positive mental state of mind.
It is important to remember to allow yourself to have breaks. Working from home online can make you feel like you have to be constantly on call, which means you feel like you get no time away from work. Having regular breaks is necessary to manage stress and help you get more done in the long run. A 10-minute break every hour has proven to greatly increase productivity and concentration levels, aiding you in successfully working from home.
Working from home makes it difficult to disconnect from the constant flow of work that needs to be completed. Additionally, as previously discussed, the need to take regular breaks is of paramount importance for productivity. This is where Factorial’s time tracking feature comes in. This feature can prove useful as it enables you to clock on and off from work. As well as tracking how many hours you have been working. This gives you some time off throughout your day where your boss knows not to disturb you as you have temporarily clocked off.