With many of us now working a hybrid split between the office and home, it’s important to find a way to work that suits you. Working from home has many benefits, including a better work-life balance and the opportunity to focus away from a busy office. However, it can sometimes be difficult to fight off feelings of loneliness and stay productive, especially if you live alone.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take in order to help boost your well-being and productivity. Make sure to tailor these to your work situation and needs, but by creating a plan, you can ensure that working from home works successfully for you.
The first thing to look at is your routine. When commuting to work, you typically tend to get up at the same time each day in order to get to work on time, but when working from home, it can be tempting to lie in as long as possible, especially on dark winter mornings.
However, setting a routine can be beneficial in helping you wake up and get ready. If you’re looking to include more exercise in your routine, why not fake your commute? Get up a bit earlier, and head out for a walk each morning before arriving at your desk, ready to start the day. If you’re struggling to switch off after work, why not try the same thing at the end of the day – even ten minutes will make you feel like there is a break between your work and home life, and getting out in nature has been shown to boost your mood.
Whilst it can be tempting to work from bed, it’s really important to maintain good posture and have the correct equipment that you need to work effectively and safely. Ensuring that you have a comfortable, supportive chair and a proper desk can reduce back pain, and minimize the chance of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Good posture doesn’t purely just have health benefits. A study by UpRight and Ernst & Young showed that employees who had good posture were 75% more productive at work, and 71% of the study participants with good posture came across as more confident.
If you struggle to keep boundaries between your work and home life, it can be worth considering a more forceful approach. Set an alarm to warn you the end of the workday is approaching, and then one for when you should be signing off. Of course, sometimes you’ll need to work longer than scheduled hours, but just make sure that any work you are doing actually needs to be completed that day, and if it happens regularly, raise it with your team.
You should also be clear about when you are available to be contacted, and not answer out of hours. If you do need to be contactable for any reason, make sure you give a phone number to be called in an emergency, otherwise turn off your laptop and your phone to give yourself a real break away from work. By setting these clear boundaries, it will allow you to relax in your leisure time and will encourage other team members to do the same.