Coronavirus has shaped the way we all work—maybe even permanently. For the first time, the majority of the population found themselves having to work from home rather than commute to the office. Freelancers and self-employed individuals have been doing this for years and have mastered home working. In this post we draw on some of their top tips for productivity and maintaining balance.
Although there are clear benefits to working from home, such as increased flexibility and comfort, for many this is a huge lifestyle change that took some adjusting to. Feelings of stress, boredom, and the notorious brain fog are unfortunately commonplace. Furthermore, it can be a challenge to find time or space for exercise, which is an essential means of boosting concentration and focus. In an effort to help increase productivity at home we have put together some tips for home workouts and working.
Tips for boosting productivity
Set a strict routine for yourself. This will help the sometimes blurred lines between work and personal life. For example, try and maintain a sleeping schedule and change out of your pyjamas when you do wake up. Also consider replacing your “commute time” with other activities such as exercising, reading, or listening to music. Most importantly, when you finish work, stop working!
Set up a dedicated workspace. Finding a space for this in your home can be difficult, but try to steer clear of places where you would normally relax—this might be in your bedroom, living room, or anywhere else with distractions. If you don’t have access to a spare room to make your office, keeping a tidy desk somewhere out of the way is your next best bet. Keep everything you need for work in your designated area such as pens, paper, and chargers.
Give yourself appropriate breaks. Just because you are working from home it does not mean that you have to be available all the time. Breaks will help you to manage feelings of stress, and time away from a screen is particularly important. This can improve your focus when you return to work.
Stay connected. Without the social aspect of work, being at home for extended periods of time can be isolating. Human interaction is important, so try picking up the phone or video calling your colleagues instead of emailing. They may even share your feelings—so try setting up periodic virtual coffee breaks for some mutual company.
Set clear boundaries. Having more flexibility is one of the key benefits of working remotely. However, there are also more distractions. Whether it’s children wanting to play or housemates wanting to chat, the best solution for this is to discuss your situation with the people you live with, share your schedule and explain the need for quiet time.
The role of exercise
During your breaks it can be a really good idea to get some fresh air.—within social distancing guidelines of course. Take time to grab a takeaway coffee or go for a walk, run or bike ride. Not only can this tackle that pesky brain fog, it will also prevent you falling into a sedentary lifestyle.
Home working vastly reduces the amount of time you spend moving—making you feel stiff and tense. A lucky few might have a home gym, Peloton bike, or Fightcamp set-up (a kind of home boxing game that almost feels like a real boxing gym). However, for the many people who don’t have these luxuries, options are limited to doing some light stretching or home workouts.
Another great approach is exercise gaming—an up-and-coming area that has boomed over the last year. This makes exercise immersive and fun. What more could you ask for? PC fitness games in particular are cost effective and require very little space, making it perfect for home workouts.
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