Although working from home has its perks, like no more commute or uncomfortable work clothes, many people find it a struggle to be as productive, in control and focussed as they would like.
We want to share 5 ways to stay positive while working from home to enable you to feel happy, healthy and perform at your best.
Be warned: it starts with getting dressed!
Whilst staying in your pyjamas all day sounds very appealing, getting dressed in the morning can really help you maintain a routine and prepare you psychologically for work. The brain associates pyjamas with inactivity which can make us feel more lethargic. Starting your day by getting dressed will help you maintain a positive frame of mind.
Create a clear and positive workspace
Although it is super tempting to stay in bed and grab your laptop, it’s important you have a designated work area even if that is a makeshift desk or a kitchen table. A dedicated workspace will give you accountability to stick to a routine and get some work done.
Also keep your workspace clear, as mess can clutter our minds and add to our stresses. A clear working space may enable you to feel more organised.
Secondly, we perform at our best when we are happy, healthy and engaged. Find a space at home you feel comfortable in, away from distractions if you can. If possible, somewhere near a window.
Working from home may mean less opportunity to get outdoors. With the dark nights a fixture in the UK, it’s difficult to find time for natural light, fresh air and our nature fix. Plants are a great way to fill that hole. Studies have shown that being around plants boosts our mood and wellbeing . So, pop a plant on your windowsill and get out for some fresh air if you can.
And be careful about where you place your phone. A study has found that having a mobile phone on your desk or in your pocket can have a negative impact on your thinking .
Plan your day
Formulate a plan! It’s easy to fall out of routine when there’s no official structure to the day. A plan can be the glue that holds our day together and keeps us on track. Likewise, a schedule enables us to separate the larger tasks into smaller blocks, which can make them feel more achievable and less overwhelming.
Research suggests that we perform better when we write down what needs doing . Putting together a plan or a to-do list can really help boost motivation levels in order to tick off those tasks on our to-do list. When we complete a task and tick it off this generates a sense of achievement.
Reward yourself with micro breaks
It’s important not to stay glued to your screen all day. Micro breaks enable us to recharge and reboot. Getting up and away from your screen for as little as 2-5 minutes can help with overall productivity levels and contribute to the reduction of stress levels. A micro break includes anything from a quick stretch, grabbing a coffee or a look out the window!
Be kind to yourself
Don’t forget to be gentle and kind to yourself!
Just as if you are working from an office, there will be times when you are not as focussed or as productive as you would like. Give yourself a break.
Find time to stretch, get outside, connect with a friend or colleague - whatever works for you.
Rob Baker is the founder and Chief Positive Deviant at Tailored Thinking - winners of the HR Consultancy of the Year, 2020. Through the application of positive psychology, wellbeing and behavioural science, Rob is committed to improving our experience of work - and helping our work places improve their experience of us and our performance.