Following the Government’s roadmap announcement on Monday (22 February), we still have a little longer to continue working from home.
Many people have had to work from home during the pandemic, and opinion seems to be very mixed on this subject; with some people having enjoyed working from home, finding that they can be very productive, the commute saves time and money and the home/work life balance is improved.
On the other hand, many people are desperate to get back into the office or place of work; they’ve missed the social interaction with colleagues and friends, they’ve found it hard concentrating at home and their mental health has been challenged.
Whichever side of the discussion you favour, home working is here for a while longer, so we can all benefit from doing some simple things whenever we work from home, whether during a lockdown or if it plays a bigger part in your life in the future.
OUR TOP TIPS
It’s a simple fact that we all feel happier, healthier and far more positive when spring is in the air, so make going outside part of your everyday work life. Actually diarise it the night before and set an alarm. Don’t falter from this, instead, set a realistic time in the day when you will stick to it and get outside for a walk, run or cycle.
Reports suggest that many of us are deficient in vitamin D, so there’s never been a better time to get outdoors and see the sun to top up your levels of this highly important vitamin.
Deeply inhaling fresh air really helps to clear your lungs and increase the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells, which means a boost to your energy levels and a clearer head.
Get in the zone
Get up and get dressed every day for work. We’re all for a ‘PJ’ day every now and again – but make this a weekend treat, so avoid sitting in a shirt for the sake of Teams/Zoom…with PJ’s going on underneath! And try doing just 15-20 minutes of exercise before you start work – even something as gentle as a yoga stretch.
I know a lot of people who have continued to ‘commute’ before and after their working day, just do any route that suits, but arriving at your desk in the morning and leaving it again at night is very good for the soul.
Redefine the work/life balance
Consider setting up a completely different login on your laptop/computer – one that’s just for work and a different one for personal use. Use a different screensaver for each so you immediately associate it with work or home.
Don’t take a break or eat a meal, in the same spot that you work at home and take regular breaks where you move your body…walk, stretch or dance (my particular favourite – 10 minute dance-off does it every time for me, especially with a bit of Beyonce ‘Love on Top…try it and dance as if no one is watching you!)
As someone who has worked from home for almost 30 years as a freelancer, I’ve always been a big advocate of it – however I’ve always been honest about it too. It certainly isn’t for everyone and it can be lonely, so make an effort to stay connected with your colleagues, your clients and your friends. In a pre-covid world, I used to make sure I had regular meetings in coffee shops all around Suffolk or if I didn’t have any planned – I would go and work for an hour somewhere (I literally know all the best coffee and wi-fi spots in Suffolk). Obviously we can’t do that right now…but not long before we can!
If you haven’t had much interaction with anyone on any given day, it’s easy to start thinking that what you’re doing doesn’t make a difference, so make a list of what you’ve achieved that day, work or personal, and tick it off…Check!
Move or exercise every day
We can’t stress this one strongly enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a gym bunny or a fitness class fanatic, a smooth swimmer or a keen cyclist…we all just need to move more and do it every day! Find something you like, that’s key. Be grateful you can do it and never look at it as a chore.
We’ve got plenty of blogs on here about food and nutrition so this isn’t one of them, however, it’s so important to eat well, eat regularly and don’t beat yourself up if you have a ‘cheat day’. Just get back on it tomorrow.
And for other positive nutrition in your life – try podcasts if you’re not into them already. There are literally thousands from celebrities, sports people, experts, comedians and more. They can inspire you, empower you, make you laugh or cry and it’s like having a short little life lesson. Try breaking up your work day, take 30 minutes to yourself and find one you love. You can sit and relax whilst you listen or go for that walk, or even cook the dinner. One of my favourites is Fern Cotton’s Happy Place!
Content from Nicki Mayhew, Abbeycroft PR and local freelancer.
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