How To Work From Home Without Feeling ‘Blah’
The recent, strange happenings in our world have seen a lot of us bringing our office home, a first for many of us! I’m sure you’re enjoying a few serious perks in your new work situation; zero commute, a super-comfy work wardrobe and flexibility like you’ve never had before. In saying that, it’s easy to fall into certain habits that may make you feel less than on-fire and not as productive as you usually are. Here are some tips that can help you to enjoy your temporary home-office to its full potential.
Hey, the temptation of working in your jim-jams is real. Haven’t we all wanted to roll into the office in our sleepwear from time to time? While, yes, now’s your chance, just take into account that what we wear impacts our state of mind. While we’re not saying that it’s necessary to slip into your power suit while working from home, you may want to consider attire that makes you feel slightly less ‘relaxed’ – think your ‘good’ activewear, sans food stains. With makeup, the same may apply. This is a rare chance to give your skin a break from makeup (and a chance for you to be nicely low-maintenance). If, however, you feel as though you are in need of a wee pick-me-up, even just a bit of mascara or even tinted lip gloss can help to send you back into ‘work-mode’.
Your Work Station
Working while lying in our bed, propped up by your favorite squishy pillows with your laptop beside you is in the same category as a pyjama work uniform – so appealing in a rebellious sort of a way but not a healthy choice people! In addition to the ‘sloppy’ sort of state-of-mind you could easily get into with a bed/desk set up, your body could really take a hammering thanks to the posture this promotes. Slouching equals sore backs and no one needs that, especially while our massage therapists are out of commission. Even if it’s the kitchen table, set yourself up at a table which is a similar height to your usual desk with a comfy chair that offers back support. As best you can, try to keep this space clutter-free, it’s difficult to think when surrounded by laundry that’s begging to be folded!
The atmosphere when working from home is likely to be a world away from your regular office environment. With kids darting around you, countless housework distractions and no work buddies to bounce ideas off, it can be difficult to maintain the level of productivity you’re used to. Something that can help is to try to retain little workplace rituals you’ve been accustomed to. Do you usually have a 10am team meeting on a Tuesday? Try keeping to that commitment over Zoom! If your work day usually kicks off with a coffee while checking your emails, make yourself that coffee before opening your laptop. Replicating these practices can simply help to make you feel more ‘at work’.
There’s a good reason why we take regular breaks at work (or should). They give us a chance to reset a bit, stretch our legs, maybe get some fresh air and, of course, fuel our bodies with something to eat. Naturally, working from home will mean less structure and it’s too easy to not take real breaks where you actually put your work aside and switch off for a bit. This can lead to a frazzled, less-fresh, less-productive you, so get those breaks in! This could mean a chance to get some exercise and vitamin D on a quick walk outside, a chance to connect with your kids (rather than snapping at them to be quiet) or hey, you’re at home so why not opt for a delicious nap to recharge? (serious work-from-home bonus!) These breaks also help to give some structure to your day, making things feel more ‘work-y’.
You know that feeling you get when you pick all day on snack foods without really eating a proper meal? Yes, it’s an easy way to feel ‘uggh’. When we simply snack, we tend to eat little in the way of nutrients, reaching instead for instant satisfaction in the form of chips, crackers and dip and sugary treats. These foods certainly aren’t optimal fuel for our bodies or our brains so try not to slip into lazy eating and take a few minutes to nourish yourself properly with a hearty salad or a sandwich filled with healthy greens and protein. Feel the difference!