Like most of us, I have been working from home for a couple of months now and it’s had its ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot across that time and have now instituted some practices that have helped make it work a bit more smoothly. Today I thought I would share some of the small things which are improving working from home for me. I’d love to hear anything you have introduced as well.
First of all I have to acknowledge how incredibly lucky I am with my situation. First of all I still have a job, and I’m not trying to juggle working with caring responsibilities. I even have a spare room I have converted to my home office, so on paper it should all be pretty easy! I am however one of those people whose job has become busier than ever (and it wasn’t a quiet job to start with!), which brings its own challenges. I’ve been finding ways to make it work, and these are the small things which are improving working from home for me.
Choose the right music
I realised pretty quickly that working in silence wasn’t going to work for me, as it made me miss the hubbub of having my team around me. Podcasts were a no go either as I can’t focus properly on my work while listening and end up doing neither thing properly. So, I needed music, but it needed to be the right kind of music. I have found some playlists on spotify that have hit the spot – uplifting without being distracting. It’s made such a big difference, and I’m listening to way more music than I had in a long time.
Still prepping food for the week
To begin with I stopped my normal Sunday routine of prepping food as I assumed I would have plenty of extra time to whip up lunch and dinner given I was going to be home constantly. I quickly discovered that it just added unnecessary stress to my work day, and I found myself not eating properly during the day, or getting super hangry before I could get lunch sorted. I have returned to prepping food and even if I don’t fully prepare meals, having something in the fridge I can quickly heat up or pull together has made a mile of difference.
Mandatory morning walk
Mornings are the only time I have proper control over at the moment – I can never be sure what time my work day might wrap up. So, I am still getting up early and making sure I go for a walk, even just for 30 minutes, to ensure I get some fresh air and stretch my legs every day. I have been picking up a coffee on the way home as my little treat (and way to support my favourite cafes) which definitely makes it easier to get up and go too!
Only work from my ‘office’
This one is definitely a luxury because I have space for a makeshift office (even if it does include the worlds tiniest desk!) but I have been making sure I only work from that room. Even on weekends if I need to do a few things, it happens in that room, despite my couch being way more enticing. It’s helping me find a way to separate work and the rest of my life, which otherwise could be tricky given I live by myself so there’s no one else here to snap me out of work mode. It really is the small things which are improving working from home!
Don’t just talk about work with my colleagues
My work days usually involve video calls with my team multiple times a day, and whilst that is great for staying in touch we realised we were only talking about work. We’re a pretty social bunch and when in the office would definitely chat about all kinds of other things too. So we have made sure we also chat about other things across the day – sharing news and stories and bringing pets on to the video calls. It’s made things feel a bit more normal and has given us small breaks from our work.