With many of us now working from home in light of the unpredictable situation we now find ourselves in, it can be hard for us to adjust to a new and unexpected way of working. On top of looking after the mental and physical health of ourselves and loved ones, we now find ourselves trying to adjust to a sudden and overwhelming change in many of our lives.
While the prospect of a little extra time in bed as a result of a disappearing commute may sound tempting, it can be difficult to motivate ourselves and keep focused in the place where we often slow down and seek relaxation after the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
Whether you're a long-term freelancer or finding your feet in amongst this new way of working, discover seven simple steps you can take to work from home more effectively.
1. Create a Routine
Just as we would head to bed and wake up at similar times for our regular commute, doing the same while working from home can help us to find our own new routine to settle in to. Try to allow yourself at least half an hour before starting work to have a shower, get dressed and enjoy a healthy breakfast to fully prepare yourself for the day ahead. If an early morning workout at the gym helps you to focus in the morning, try a home workout video or some gentle yoga before work to awaken mind, body and soul.
2. Find your Space
While the temptation to stay in bed may seem like one of the luxuries of working from home, this can wreak havoc with our sleep schedule. Harsh blue light filters from our screens and lack of movement mean our bodies struggle to switch off at the end of the day. Try to set up a designated area in your home to work from, such as your dining room table, to create your own home 'office' in a room which allows you to leave your work behind at the end of the day.
Once you've found the perfect working environment for you, now is your chance to make your space your own. Similar to our own desks in the office, unleash your creative spark as you decorate your desk with the things you enjoy - house plants, notebooks, flowers, photo frames or speakers to listen to music while you work. If you're struggling to focus, try decorating your space with scent. Essential oils such as grapefruit, bergamot and geranium are renowned for their mood-boosting and re-energizing properties, making our Just Grapefruit Reed Diffuser or Bergamot & Geranium Room Spray the perfect addition to any desk space to help clear your mind of any clutter.
3. Get some Air
Staying at home can feel like an overwhelming change for many of us. Try opening your windows first thing in the morning to let in as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible during your working day. Allowing ourselves to get some fresh air helps to clear any mental blocks or allow us to switch off after a busy day. Use your lunch break, or create your own 'commute' as your day winds to a close, by going for a brisk walk around your local area once per day - ensuring you stay at least 2 metres away from others and washing your hands as soon as you return.
4. Keep in Touch
Used to working in a busy office environment? The tapping of keyboards, distant phone calls, weekly meetings and daily lunch breaks with your team. For many of us, we're so accustomed to office background noise and engaging with our colleagues that all of a sudden working from home can feel incredibly isolating, leaving some of us spending a whole day without speaking to anyone.
That's why it's important to pick up the phone and have a real conversation. Whether that's adapting your weekly team meetings to video calls or catching up with colleagues to help you with a quick query instead of an email, ensure you take some time to engage and connect with your team, as opposed to depending on emails and instant messaging.
5. Take a Break
It's all too easy to spend too much time sitting at our desks, unintentionally glued to our screens while we try to finish a task. But sitting for long periods of time can cause various aches and pains to our bodies, leaving us feeling sluggish and uncomfortable. To help combat this, try to take regular breaks every hour to allow yourself to stretch, move around and pour yourself a glass of water - just as you would in the office.
6. Prepare for Distractions
Juggling work and family life at home can present itself as a huge challenge, especially for those with younger children, babies and toddlers. While we might not always be able to, giving ourselves some time to try to plan ahead and build some flexibility into our day can help to make a difference. Try to complete tasks while your baby or toddler is asleep in the earlier hours of the morning, during nap times or in the evenings while you have a moment to yourself. Talk to your managers to see if you can adjust your hours to help you manage your time more effectively. Equally, trying new and time-consuming activities, such as crafts, jigsaws and board games are a great way to keep the kids' minds occupied for longer.
7. Switch Off and Slow Down
If you need help switching off after a hectic day, activities such as cooking, reading, listening to podcasts or practising mindfulness techniques are great ways to help you switch off and slow down. Incorporating the calming aromas of lavender into your evening routine can also help us to restore inner calm. Renowned for their soothing and relaxing properties, draw yourself a long, warm bath with our Glen Iorsa Bath & Shower Gel to help ease any aches and pains, followed with a generous spritz of our Glen Iorsa Pillow Mist before bed to help us drift off into a restful night's sleep.