The 21st century seems to have become an age of challenging norms. All sorts of norms… Just look at how our idea of ‘working environment’ has changed over the last five to ten years. A lot of people prefer a freelance career to an office one. Moreover, year 2020 has proved that to make an income you do not have to come to an office. In fact, many professionals have claimed that for running a successful business, one does not really need a physical office any more, as we can work from our homes and work rather efficiently.
When a lockdown was imposed, the majority faced the challenge of organizing work from home. Fortunately, I was not an exception! I’ve said “fortunately”, as the beginning was really tough and I was in the ‘haters’ tribe of the working from home idea. But, thanks to some tips and tricks I have converted myself into a productive “home bird”, so I can proudly say that I see many silver linings in another wave of coming restrictions.
Here are my tips and tricks.
#Waking up time. It is better not to fall to the temptation of sleeping longer as you can find it harder to set your mind into a working flow. Instead, you may want to incorporate some new activities into your morning routine that will help to shake off your slumber. It can be yoga, meditation, breathing or morning exercise. If you do have a strong will you may take up having a cold shower… Brrrrr… In addition, practicing something like that for a longer time will boost your immune system and mental health.
#Dressing up. In spite of staying in the cosiest place in the world, wearing cute PJ’s won’t let you completely immerse into working atmosphere. Depending on the sphere you are engaged in, you should throw on appropriate clothing, including accessories, even make-up and hair should be done with a final touch of your favourite perfume. All these so-called unnecessary manipulations will keep you on the right productive track and give you a feeling of an office environment. At the same time, I should admit that jogging bottoms can go well together with so many smart-looking tops and blazers, as on video calls only upper body is seen, so why not to get the best from both the worlds: looking smart and feeling comfy.
#Designate working space. It will be great if the working place is not the same armchair you chill out in while watching Netflix. You are lucky if you can occupy another room in your place, it will give you a certain feeling of commuting. If the luck is not on your side, the furthest corner from your bed will also do the job. Set up your laptop and all the stationery that you normally use while working. All these things should be at your elbow to prevent unnecessary distraction.
#Recreate working routine. It is worth getting down to work around the same time and planning your day thoroughly the night before, so in the morning you will know exactly what you should tackle first. It is very easy to lose the importance of time at home, so make a very detailed to-do list and stick to it till the whole mission is completed. Remember, that social media might turn into your biggest enemy that might lead you into the mood of procrastination. To stay on the safe side, install an app on your phone that will manage the time you spend on your favourite platforms.
#Remember to take breaks. Short ten-fifteen-minute breaks will greatly benefit you. Even when working from the office, we need time to have a cup of tea/coffee, lunch or a smoke. The same pattern should be adopted to the home office as well. Moreover, sitting long hours is hard and harmful for the health, so incorporate several breaks into your schedule in order to do some simple exercise. You will immediately see the boost in your productivity. And a final disclaimer for this tip, lunch should be eaten in the dining area!
#Take a walk regularly. Otherwise, you will go crazy cooped up inside. You may go shopping, to the cinema or gym, treat yourself with a dinner out. With lockdown restrictions some of the options might not be available, so just a simple walk in the nearest park or around your neighbourhood will greatly help you out and bring the feeling of a changing picture.
#Lack of socializing. I have heard some people complaining that they were suffering from not having enough interaction with each other while they were stuck at home. Being a social animal, it was quite unusual for me at the beginning, but I suggested to some of my colleagues to have a short video call every morning around the time we had usually enjoyed our cups of coffee before the pandemic. Surprisingly, our video coffee calls turned into a special ritual. You can find more ideas how to diversify communication in International Couples Likely to Set New Record for Physical Separation and Time Apart.
I have always believed that humans can adjust to many conditions and Covid pandemic is still demonstrating our potential. Fingers crossed that it will be over soon, but it is already obvious that a lot of companies have realized the simple truth that a physical office is not crucial to running a profitable business. Ultimately, employees should consider the possibility to carry on working from home and learn how to organize their productivity in the space around. If you have some other tips to add to this list, you are always welcome to leave a few lines in the comment box. Stay safe and enjoy your coffee till next time!