Ready to work from home? Top 5 tips
Updated: May 24, 2020
I've created this article to help those that are transitioning or will be transitioning to working from home soon. I have put together my top five tips that I've learned from my current experience:
1. Your mind-set
Working from home is not everyone’s cup of tea. Having to work from home during COVID-19, requires flexibility to adjust your perceptions towards work and life. Make a list of all the positive aspects of working from home and keep focusing on those.
Book: Moonshot - What Landing a Man on the Moon Teaches Us About Collaboration, Creativity and the Mind-set for Success, Richard Wiseman
2. Your environment
Create Your Space. Make it a place where you'll enjoy spending time. A few "office" touches might encourage you to be more productive – but you can still personalise your workspace, with fun posters or family photos.
Posture. Check you have a proper chair where you can sit comfortably.
Create physical boundaries. If possible, set up a workspace that's separate from your everyday activities. Find a place where you can go and close the door on potential distractions.
Scent: A Japanese study found that specific scents can increase alertness which in turn, results in higher productivity rates. Try peppermint, cinnamon or lemon scents to keep you energised and refreshed – this can aid concentration and stimulate the mind.
Atomic Habits, An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, James Clear
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Tim Ferriss
3. Set healthy boundaries
Set your working hours. If you can, set the hours where you will be working, and then manage your time. This helps partners or housemates know when you will or won’t be available. And don’t forget to set time off!
Don’t be overly available. You don’t have to respond to emails in real-time.
Practice saying No. Practice prioritising your time and focusing on what’s important. Share this with your team so that there is clear communication. Try using a Kanban board with your team - https://miro.com/
Have a start-up and shut down ritual. This helps get your body into a routine that separates work from home. One example might be wearing office clothes during “work” hours.
Book: Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg
4. Staying active
Start your day with a morning routine. Mornings are the most essential part of your day - they set the tone for everything that follows. Make yourself a priority and do something for yourself before you start working. To have a productive morning routine try habit stacking.
Physical distancing activities: Try incorporating new actives – you could start an at-home workout challenge, go for a run, incorporate exercise moves whilst doing housework, try Just Dance or go for a 20-min lunchtime walk.
Remember to take breaks: Breaks help you process and retain information and also come up with creative solutions for current challenges. Try the Pomodoro Technique and add some exercise during those breaks.
Book: The Morning Miracle, The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am, Hal Elrod
5. Sense of belonging
Reach out to your team, loved ones and/or join an online community. When you can see yourself being part of something bigger than the current situation, this can act as a potent way to empower yourself.
Feeling that you belong is most important in seeing the value in life and in coping with intense emotions/situations. To build a sense of belonging requires active effort and practice. An example might be doing something kind for others – giving food to your local hospital to help those having to work and putting themselves at risk during this time; reaching out to friends or maybe investing in your skills by joining an online course.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia
Finding Your Element, Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
What are your top 5 tips?