5 tips to help keep you happy and productive while you WFH

I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these troubling times. I know I’m finding this latest lockdown more difficult this time around. I’m putting it down to the time of year and lockdown fatigue. The days are short and mostly grey and we just want some relief, but for now we must stay home to stay safe and look towards the coming Spring.

Working from home (WFH) has its benefits, Zoom meetings in the comfort of our lounge pants and dressing gowns anyone? It also comes with its own set of challenges though. Those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home during this time have probably developed their own ways to stay productive and content (relatively speaking) during the pandemic. Let’s explore five ways to boost your days WFH.

Photo by Daniel Polevoy on Unsplash
1) Routine – one of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility it brings for many of us. If you aren’t a morning person or find yourself at peak productivity in the early evening, then embrace that. Try to stick to a routine though, say you’ll be logged on by 8am, but then you’ll be logging off at 4.30pm, make sure you let your colleagues know how you’ll be working and when the best times to reach you will be. The more of a routine you can set yourself, the easier you’ll find it to manage your workload and time. WFH can be a liberating experience and a new way to work in the future, but make sure it works for you as well as your employer. 

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

2.) Get moving – with no train or bus to run and catch, the morning commute looks very different when you are working from home. Don’t let your only exercise be from your desk to the kitchen cupboard though. As a minimum you should try and exercise for 30 minutes every day, that’s easier said than done, trust us we know! But the benefits are massive. Your physical and mental health will get a boost from a daily dose of exercise so add it to your daily routine. Despite the gym and in person exercise classes closed for the time being there are still lots of options available. Even a daily brisk walk before, after or during the workday will do you wonders. Or if that’s not your thing there are loads of free online workouts available. A particular favourite of mine and a real eye opener has to be Jane Fonda’s 1980’s workouts on YouTube – honestly its so much fun!   

3) Workplace – this is vital to ensure a productive working from home set up. However, we know space is at a massive premium in UK homes, so much so that we have the smallest homes in the whole of Europe! So home offices are a mere dream for many, in fact the space for a desk in a bedroom is a bit of a luxury in these times. Wherever you manage to dock your laptop, make it your own space. This is where WFH can be another positive, in many office buildings now, open plan hot desking reigns supreme. Any sense of individuality or personality has been banished in favour of efficiency and flexibility. At home you can make your workspace your own. Add a multifunctional houseplant to your desk area, some like super low maintenance Dracaena trifasciata (aka Mother in-law’s tongue) not only look stunning but they also clean the air. Fragrance and the comforting light from a candle is another must have for creating a pleasant and productive work space at home. The perfume from a scented candle can not only boost your mood but can also act to inspire and stimulate your mind.   

4) The rest of the house/flat – unless you live alone then you are sharing your living space with others. It might be house mates, or kids, or parents. Its worth setting out some rules of engagement for when you are working from home. For example when the door is closed you are either in a meeting or deep in thought and shouldn’t be disturbed. Ask other adults working from home to follow these rules or set their own and it should help to dissipate any frustrations and interruptions.  

Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

5) Look out for each other – WFH can be wonderfully liberating and a boon for creativity and productivity but don’t forget to keep in regular contact with your team. Don’t go a day without speaking to one of your colleagues on the phone, even if it isn’t strictly necessary. The relationships we make a work are an important part of the job and for those perhaps living alone and or self-isolating, work calls might be the only human contact they’ve had all day. So check in on your workmates, schedule a coffee break over zoom and look out for each other.

Stay safe everyone.  

Love and candlelight, Howard x

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