Working from home is nothing new for me, I ‘ve been doing it for the past 14 years and I am not sure I could go back to the TV world where we would sit from 10am (yes, late starts but often late nights as well) until at least 6pm, if not later.
I know, however, that until COVID-19 came along and kicked the world out of their official workplaces, working from home isn’t the norm for many people – be that employees and employers.
I’m not saying I’m a guru when it comes to working from home, but I like to think that I have found my grove and wanted to pass some of my knowledge on.
Work at a desk
You might feel that you work from your sofa in your PJs with a cuppa resting on the arm and the remote flicking between Now ’90s and BBC, but believe me, the novelty will wear off. Setting up a desk space, even at the kitchen table, sitting at a chair (as back friendly as you can get) with you feet flat on the floor and your news bent at a 90 degree angle will really help you to keep healthy. I know not everyone has a designated room in their home, but if you can just carve out a small space, it really will help you to keep your s^^t together.
Sit near a window
If you can, sit near a window so you have some natural light coming in. If that’s not possible, try to get outside at least once a day. As well as getting you away from your screen, the fresh air will breath life into your body and soul and give you some much needed headspace.
Get some plants
As well as looking great, plants can help to reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being, so grab one or two the next time you are out – I think we can still buy them in supermarkets at the moment and I am sure the garden centre in our village is still open. Having plants around your workspace can help improve air quality, can bring down stress levels, clean the air and keep you feeling calm and grounded. I have an ivy in my office that I have managed to keep alive as well as a flamingo plant my boys gave me fro Mother’s Day. I try to get fresh flowers most weeks as they make me smile, but do some research and find a plant that would work best for your space and remember, there isn’t a team who will dust the leaves and water your plant, that’s another job to add to your list.
Make a list
Talking of lists, you need one when you are working from home. As well as reminding you of what you need to do, it’s also a great visual way yo show you what you have achieved each day. We think we can remember everything and file it in our minds, but with most jobs than ever, more calls and video sessions than seems right and a tonne of admin and social media posts to get up, something will be lost if you don’t jot it down. I am an old fashioned pen and paper kind of gal, but do what works for you and when you clock off (something else you need to still do even if you are working at the kitchen table), give yourself a pat on the back for all the things you have done, and carry the rest over to the next day.
Move your body
Yes, that report needs to be done by 5pm and you have three Zoom meetings but sitting all day doesn’t promote a healthy lifestyle. Set a timer so you are reminded to get up and move every hour (I am sure your office colleagues will have waved you on at lunchtime and they can’t right now) and if you can get outside at lunchtime, even better.
If you are used to be around people in the office, you might find that being at home just don’t feel right to you. I am very happy with my dogs in Devon, but if you are an extrovert and love the company of others, it will be a good idea to find ways of connecting so you can maintain that buzz. Maybe it’s weekly online meetings, a WhatsApp group or a private Facebook group that will make sure you are staying connected to those you work with. Maybe a phone call with your boss once a week will help keep you on track and with Christmas coming up you could get creative with the office party and organise an online cocktail making class or disco, yes they do exist.
If you find that you are struggling when it comes to working from home, reach out and ask for help. I know some of my clients find our coaching and mentoring sessions give them time to unpack is what happening for them and give them a chance to find solutions that fit their lifestyle, so if I can help you, do get in touch.
Have a great week, and if you get a plant, let me know which one.