While many of us didn't have a choice during Lockdown, with up to 60% of people staying away from the office during the pandemic, recent stats show that as many as 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown.
Having a physical workplace to go to often means getting up at an ungodly hour and dragging yourself to the office. But, once you’ve plonked yourself in your swivel chair you’ll work your way through your to-do list with little distraction. You might watch the clock, wishing time away but resistance is futile! Once you get into a nice flow it’s easy to carry on with your duties until it’s time to clock out.
Working at home is a different story. Being left to your own devices can be dangerous. So how can we make the most of working from our own abode?
Swap pyjamas for smart casual attire
Without a set time to get to work, it’s easy to indulge in a sleep-in and live in your pyjamas. But starting your day with hair unbrushed, face unwashed and feeling sloth-like is a recipe for disaster. Instead, set your alarm and wake up without hitting the snooze button. Get straight in the shower and change your clothes! It resets your mind and resets your mode: from sleep to a get-things-done mind-set.
Implement a social media ban
If you don’t set strict ground rules, you could end up spending hours scrolling through your feed or distracting yourself with adorable cat videos. Even LinkedIn can be distracting after a while! Allocate breaks if you want to keep an eye on your socials and consider not using apps such as WhatsApp Web. It’s too tempting to get pulled into group chats and break your focus to answer texts.
Keep hours and schedules similar
Don’t get sucked into avoiding work by completing household tasks. Ever reorganised your wardrobe or done the laundry instead of putting together an important presentation? It’s still procrastination! Allocate a set time for each task and keep it. That means no casual visits to the fridge until you’re done.
Set up a distraction-free zone
Living with housemates or your family? Don’t set up shop in the kitchen, otherwise known as the central hub of the house. The same goes with working on the couch with the TV on. It’s bad for your posture and too easy to get preoccupied by whatever program is on. Choose a quiet, human-free zone where you can work in peace.
Avoid total isolation
After a few days of working at home, it can get incredibly lonely and you may miss having colleagues to bounce off throughout the day. Combat the blues by having regular check-ins via phone call or a FaceTime with those who you work with. A little bit of communication goes a long way when it comes to keeping spirits high.
There are so many perks to this relatively new way of working! From saving time commuting allowing you to wake up a little later and enjoy extra sleep, to the opportunity to adopt healthier and cheaper eating habits by cooking at home rather than buying lunch and coffees, embrace your new found freedom, find your flow and increase your productivity!