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Working effectively from home

For many of us, homeworking has been a relatively new concept. Added to that, we’ve had the emotional turmoil of adapting to a new way of living and the anxiety that change and uncertainty brings. That’s why it’s important to create stability and routine where we can, to limit distractions and create a productive and satisfying work environment. Here are some suggestions on how you could get the most out of working from home, which you may find useful.

1. Create a daily routine

Create and stick to a daily routine. Research shows that individuals with a strong morning routine are more likely to maintain a positive outlook throughout the day and achieve what they’ve set out to do. It might be tempting to stay up late and roll out of bed ten minutes before you start work, but the novelty will soon wear off and you won’t feel on top of your game. Keep a regular sleep pattern if you can and make the most of the extra time you now have in the morning. Make yourself a nice breakfast, go for a walk, sit in the garden, read, maybe learn something new. Create a distinction between your ‘me’ time and your working day.

You might find that creating a ritual, such a walk around the block and re-entering your home, becomes the determining point at which your workday officially begins. Set objectives or write a to-do list at the start of the day or even the night before, to give you some focus.

2. Create an ‘office’

You don’t have to have a whole room set aside but clearing a space for yourself at a table or desk will do wonders for your mind and will get your brain out of relaxation mode and into work mode (even if your desk is within arm’s reach of your bed). Take the time to plan with those you live with. If you aren’t the only person in your household working from home it’s a good idea to establish ground-rules and a household routine to protect each other’s privacy. If you have children, agree a timetable with any parenting partners you have.

3. Dress for work

Start your workday showered and dressed. It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas, but chances are you won’t feel as though you’re fully in work mode. You don’t need to dress in clothes that you’d wear to the office but something comfortable that is appropriate for a video call, will leave you feeling more professional and focused.

4. Take regular breaks

If you normally work in the office, you’ll probably be engaging in conversations with those around you or getting up from your seat to talk to colleagues – which means you’ll naturally be breaking up your screen time and moving around more. Remember to check in with your body and do some stretches to help prevent upper limb problems.

5. End your day

It’s easy to let work time slip into leisure time without a set cut-off point. Decide the point at which you’ll end your working day and adhere to it. No feeling guilty! Shut down your laptop and turn off your work phone away to avoid looking at emails – instead spend the evening doing something you enjoy.