Our Top Working From Home Tips
By Carla Oates
Over the last couple of years, it’s fair to say that the way we work—as well as where we work—has shifted dramatically. COVID and the global pandemic has completely up-ended our traditional views on working in an office and for us at The Beauty Chef HQ—even as we begin to make our way back into the office for more face-to-face time—we are still juggling how to work from home effectively, as well as productively.
If you worked in an office pre-Coronavirus, it’s likely you entertained the idea of working from home or remote work: no commute to consider, no lunch to pre-prepare and a temporary reprieve from the usual office antics. And while it may have started out as something of a novel change, the overwhelming prospect of working from home indefinitely, is something that we have all had to try and wrap our heads around since early 2020 when we were barely allowed to leave our postcode.
Whether you are someone who loves working from home—or not—there’s no denying that working remotely can present some very real challenges. Aside from having to maintain a tidy Zoom background, there are also lots of advantages to WFH which we’ve explored below.
Read on to discover some of our top working from home tips...
Advantages Of Working From Home
Aside from the geographical proximity of rolling out of bed and into your office (aka your living room!), there are some other obvious advantages that we’ve all come to be grateful for since the pandemic barricaded us into our homes. For one, simple domestic tasks that can seem laborious and at times, overwhelming after a long day in the office, become far easier to manage when WFH. Got four loads of laundry to do? Simply pop one on during your break! Likewise, prepping dinner, eating healthy homemade lunches (not to mention saving money!), are all easier when WFH.
The other obvious benefit is the ability and flexibility to schedule appointments. Pre-COVID simply organising a routine doctor’s or dentist’s appointment involved having a chat with your manager to ensure they were okay with you being late or leaving early—when now, you can all but schedule in those tricky appointments around your work day as you’re more easily able to make up the time. Similarly, working parents can now do school pick up and drop off with far less stress knowing they don’t have to commute over an hour each way to make it to the school gates in time!
Work From Home Challenges
The big one here is undoubtedly motivation. For some people, working from home provides the ultimate sense of freedom as well as productivity—having the ability to sit at your desk whenever suits to tick off your to-do list in an efficient and organised fashion. But for others, having to self-motivate is, let’s say… tricky. While we’ve all had to just ‘get on with it’ during the pandemic, now that we are juggling time in the office with working from home, it can be an adjustment learning to manage conflicting priorities as well as the mundanity of day-to-day life at home. If you live with family or even your friends, it can also be difficult to stay on task or focus when there are three or four other people in your ‘workspace’ also trying to work from home. Not to mention the distraction of the fridge looming close by. No matter the challenge, however, there are some simple tried and tested tips to help support your productivity—and wellbeing—when working from home.
Work From Home Productivity Tips
Your pyjamas might be comfy, but getting dressed in work-friendly attire is one of the simplest ways to boost your productivity. While it may go unnoticed to you initially, getting dressed is a ritual that will help send your brain the message that now it’s time to work. Similarly, having a shower every morning, doing your hair (or at least brushing it!) and putting on a slick of mascara (if that makes you feel good), will all help to reframe what working from home looks like for you.
Set Up A Designated Workspace
While on cold dreary mornings dragging your laptop into bed sounds more than appealing, if you’re not physically in a zone to work, your productivity will inevitably suffer. That’s why no matter your circumstances, it’s essential to designate a certain area of your home to work and work alone. You don’t need a separate office either. Even if you’re flatting or sharing a home with family members, simply setting up a desk in the corner of your room makes it clear that when you’re at your desk, you’re at work. This doesn’t mean that your workspace needs to be uncomfortable—in fact, we recommend choosing a great chair, making your space ergonomic and setting it up in a way that inspires you as you’re far more likely to make use of it if it’s ticking all the right boxes. If possible, open a window to allow in as much fresh air as possible and prioritise natural light which will make working from home and staying on task feel more achievable—as well as enjoyable.
If you still find it tricky to maintain productivity, there are loads of apps like Slack and Asana you can implement in your home office, too.
Prioritise Your Mental Wellbeing
Working from home can be lonely and if COVID taught us anything it’s that our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as our physical strength and immunity. Whether before, during or after work, it’s important to schedule some time to do something that nourishes your soul and supports your mental wellbeing—as this will in turn boost your productivity and prevent burnout.
Don't forget to check in on your fellow remote workers and colleagues, too, as social interactions are super important—even if they occur on Zoom, Google Hangouts or via video calls— especially if you're not getting the benefit of face-to-face connections each day.
Support Your Physical Health
While for some, one perk of working from home is that it can feel easier to exercise with the benefit of online classes at our fingertips—we can also be guilty of sitting at our desk for hours on end without taking a breath simply because our work and home life have seemingly merged into one. Ensure you’re scheduling in some daily movement time and set aside some time to make a nutritious lunch, eating it away from your workspace.
Take Proper Breaks
While in your real life office it can be easy to take a proper lunchbreak as you can literally just walk out the door—at home, taking proper breaks can seem like you’re cheating on your work day. But for the sake or your mental wellbeing, it’s essential to prioritise downtime. It’s also important to use the advantage of being at home to work in sync with your natural rhythms. While some people are early birds and find they are most productive as soon as the sun comes up, others are night owls and get more done after 3pm—as such, create your own work schedule (as long as your manager knows when you’ll be on and offline!) and schedule breaks during periods that are a little more lacklustre for you. Establish an inspiring morning routine, turn off social media notifications when you're feeling like you're in work mode and maintain clear work hours—just because you're at home doesn't mean you should be required (or want to be!) contactable 24/7. Work-life balance and maintaining your personal life should be of equal priority.