Coronavirus: Five tips if you’re working from home

For many it might be just like any other week, but for some, working from home may be a challenge and a lot of people are likely to be doing it for the first time this week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

About 1.5 million people work from home and its becoming more popular all the time.

So, if you’ve been told to work remotely and you’re not self-isolating, what’s the best way to keep your spirits up and stay motivated?

1. Get dressed

For some people, the idea of staying in their pyjamas all day may seem to be the most enticing aspect of working from home. But the routine of washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind but will also psychologically prepare you to start work.

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Whether its business attire or anything else, some people find that dressing formally is helpful and also helps when you need to dial into those Skype video calls.

Wearing respectable clothes helps increase motivation to leave the house just like changing out of work clothes when you clock off for the day helps your brain to understand the working day is over.

2. Establish boundaries

If you work for a company then you’re likely to have set hours of work and it’s important to stick to those hours when you’re working from home. Be prepared to start your day the same time as you would normally arrive at your office or workplace and finish your day at the same time.

At the end of the working day, make sure you switch off your computer and tidy away papers and other things around your desk. Space allowing, set aside a separate area in your home where you can set up – preferably with a properly adjusted desk and chair, similar to your workplace. You should also ensure you find a space where you’re not likely to be disturbed, especially if there are other people in the house.

The NHS advice is that your chair should be adjusted so that you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor.

3. Get out and about (if you’re not self-isolating)

Whether it be for a morning jog or a quick cycle around the park, it’ll help with your physical wellbeing as well as getting some fresh air. A different perspective will also help clear your mind and help you a fresh pair of eyes  with any tasks you’re struggling with.

if you can’t go outside, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing the atmosphere into your home with you by using apps like Calm to play background noises such as rain, ocean sounds or even a busy environment like cafe chatter or a busy office for those times your missing the workplace.

4, Pick up the phone

When you’re at work, you’re more likely to engage with colleagues, but when you’re at home, you could spend the whole day without talking to anyone which can be confining.

So, it’s important to make some time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation rather than relying on texting or emailing.

5. Take regular breaks

You should avoid being cemented to your screen all day. It’s important to take regular screen breaks and get up from you desk and walk around or even stretch for a while.

Research has found that taking short breaks throughout the day are more beneficial than taking longer, less frequent breaks. Many home workers recommend the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method which which breaks your day into 25 minute chunks which is followed by a 5 minute break.

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