The end is now in sight, it may still be a good few months off before we can get back to ‘some kind’ of normality but there is light at the end of the tunnel! So many of us have become accustomed to working at home and have been doing so for a year now. I for one have been working from home for a lot longer by choice. It suits my family requirements and I have no overheads to think of when running my business. Some people of course don’t share the same opinion as me and have found it very difficult adapting to life working from home. So I thought I would share some tips with you in case you are finding it difficult.
At least now the children are back at school and we don’t have home schooling to contend with anymore. This was a stressful situation to be in, having to juggle your own work as well as being a teacher, see our previous blog. So now that the kids are no longer under your feet you can focus on you and your work. Slobbing around in a morning is no longer an option, now that we’re back into the routine of the school run, so this is a great start to your morning. You may feel like the school journey takes time out of your day, but it actually kick starts your motivation. Having a purpose to get up in the morning, having a shower and getting dressed sets you up for the day and makes you feel more alert in order to tackle your workload, full steam ahead! I am a morning person, I have to be! Before the school run I have my horse to attend to. Early rises are proven to encourage motivation, I definitely feel better for it every morning.
Now your day may feel so much shorter with the school pick up to consider too, which can of course make your day more stressful knowing that you have to stop at a certain time. Make sure your first job of the day is to set out your to-do list. Prioritise what needs to be done, break each task into steps so they are easier to complete. Set goals of what you need to achieve each day and don’t be too ambitious (trust me I know!)
Take regular breaks away from your desk, even if it’s just getting up and walking around whilst on the phone. Try your best to get out and get some fresh air. Getting fresh air into your lungs keeps you energised and clears your head so that you can focus and concentrate better.
If you have tasks to complete which require lots of concentration then focus on these tasks whilst the kids are at school and turn your phone onto do not disturb, keep distractions to a minimum.
Working from home gives you flexibility that there are no set hours. So it’s no big deal if you haven’t completed your work by 5pm. This can be a positive and a negative. The positive being you can work a bit later so your day isn’t as stressful. The negative being that you can work too much and working until all hours is not good for your health and wellbeing. We all need some time to relax and unwind.
I can’t stress the importance of having a designated work space. It really helps you to remain focused so that household distractions and chores are not interfering with your work time. The time you’re at your desk is your time to concentrate on work. Having a dedicated workspace is not only good for your concentration it’s better for your posture too. After a year of working from home you may be starting to realise that this is now ‘the norm’ if you’re self employed you really must invest in proper equipment. I would like to think that if you are employed your employer has given you all the equipment necessary to ensure that you are comfortable whilst working from home. They should still be carrying out VDU assessments to ensure that your health is not affected by your work. If not, have the conversation with them to get the support you need, it will make a massive difference to you.
Many businesses have decided that having a team working remotely from home offers them lots of flexibility and also cuts costs. Some companies will decide that having home based staff is the way forward and what you thought was working from home temporarily may turn into something more long-term. If you’re the type of person who thrives on being in an office environment surrounded by people, I can imagine the thought of this is quite overwhelming. Morning meetings on zoom with your colleagues will definitely make a difference to you, even if it’s just for 10 minutes for a quick natter and a catch up.
We have all found the past year difficult, some more than others and for different reasons too. Work-life and home life for that matter has changed dramatically in a short space of time. You may not have signed up for a job which was home based and it’s been forced upon you but focus on the positives, there’s many people who have lost their jobs in this pandemic. Everyone who has managed to still be in a secure position is very lucky. Times have changed, it’s difficult to comprehend, but we’re all in this together, and we’ve not got much longer!