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How to Work From Home

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has lead to many businesses sending their employees to work from home. For some that's music to their ears but for others working from home seems impossible. Here are my top tips to keep focused at home.

The overall goal is for it to still feel like you are going into work even though you are still at home. The first way to do this is to set up a designated work station. This would ideally be a separate room, like a spare room or study, but this may not be possible for all of you so a desk in the corner of a room will also work. You should make sure that the only thing you do at this desk is what you would do at your desk at work. Also it is important that everyone in your house knows that when you are at the desk you are working. This should keep the distractions to a minimal.

My second tip is to keep the routine. If it is possible try and make sure you still work the same hours you normally would. Start and finish at the same time you normally would and take the same breaks. It's easy to think, 'I can start an hour later and finish and hour later', or something along those lines. This mentality could see you pushing back all your work and then you find yourself behind or cramming your work. This will not only keep your bosses happy but also means that when you go back to work it will be easy to get back into your usual routine.

Another tip of mine is to get dressed. The temptation to stay in your pajamas all day is overwhelming but it could decrease your productivity. As comfy as pajamas are they are associated with rest and sleep so if you stay in them all day not only could your work be less productive it could also affect your sleep. A double edged sword. Now I'm not saying that if you usually wear a suit to work you should wear a suit to work from home (although feel free), but keeping the routine of getting ready for work gets you in the mindset to work.

Now that you have everything set up and you're ready to work, it is important that you keep in touch with your colleagues. Not only does this make sure they all know you are still working but it also means you are still working together. You do not need to call and email them every 10 minutes to prove you are still working, you simply need to keep contact with the people who you may need to work with and make sure your boss knows and sees what you've been doing. This tip may vary depending on what you do and where you work, hopefully your work will have told you themselves how much contact they expect.

During these uncertain times it is understandable that your focus may not be on your work. Everyone is trying their best to deal with the current situation and the most important thing right now is to try and keep as healthy as possible. This brings me to my final tip. Eating well and exercise. Cabin fever is likely to affect many of us, but it is important to stay at home and avoid contact with others as much as possible. The gyms are a definite no go but a walk, run or cycle is currently still allowed. There are also many options to work out in your homes. Keeping active will release endorphins and hopefully keep your stress levels lower- 'healthy body, healthy mind'. This should help you focus a little more on your work when you are working and also help keep you fighting fit when it is most important.

These are my top tips for working at home, there are many more and everyone is different, so let me know your tips in the comments. Everyday we get one day closer to the end of this weird and scary time. But until that day, stay at home, look after yourself (and others, safely) and stay safe!

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