Working from Home Hacks
After the success of the recent article on the Clinical Professionals blog about working from home tips and tricks, below are some tips that can help make life just a little bit easier.
- Get up an hour before you need to work
Last thing you want to do whilst working from home is to roll out of bed 5 minutes before you’re expected to be online! Yes, it is nice that you can have a lie in, but not only will you feel groggy, but you will also be ill prepared if someone should call you when you are not fully ready!
Set an alarm for an hour before you need to work and try to keep up your normal routine, make yourself some coffee, browse the news (maybe not too much), have a shower etc. You’ll feel more with it by the time your work day kicks off.
- Considering still “commuting” keep to your routine
As previously mentioned, it is worth sticking as much to your normal routine, not only will that get you in the right headspace for work, but it helps you reacclimatise once life returns back to normal.
One of the best ways to go about this whilst providing some exercise is to still “commute” to work each day. This may sound counterproductive…especially as your “office” may be just a few feet away from your bed. However, going out for a half an hour walk or cycle will help clear your head and help with waking you up ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you.
- Dress for the part
I for one, am a huge advocate for a good set of comfy pyjamas to lounge around in, but it does make sense that if you need to work you should try and dress for the part.
This doesn’t mean get suited and booted whilst your sat at your breakfast table, but more shower, do your hair, makeup etc, and put on something at least smart casual. As it is another trick to help get your brain into the right frame of mind for working. Remember you may also be required for video calls throughout the day!
- Dedicated working space, away from others
Make sure you have your own dedicated space to work in, being sat on the sofa will not only cause problems for back muscles but can also lead to being distracted by the tv, family members etc.
If possible, try to set up some space in a spare room, have a decent size desk, in a pinch an ironing board makes a great stand up desk, and above all else don’t work from your bed…
- Posture and Stretches
Over the next coming days or weeks, you will begin to notice the odd aches and pains in areas such as your lower back, maybe your shoulders or possibly your neck.
Unless you have taken your office chair home with you or already had one at home, you are likely to have been sat on chairs that haven’t provided enough support to your back. And there is also a chance that you have been working with your laptop lower than eyelevel which will put strain on your neck.
There are various ways to remedy both issues, such as using a cushion to pad out the chair or stack some books under your laptop to elevate it. Whatever solution you have just try and maintain the correct posture when working to help prevent the exacerbation of any aches you may already have.
Here is a handy diagram of how your set up should look:
- Hydration and concentration food!
Being at home all the time will make it a lot easier to snack and eat junk food, especially as your kitchen is only a short distance away. Let’s face it, who hasn’t done a bit of comfort eating in the past few weeks.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you are eating healthy and hydrated is to hack your own laziness. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit and a large bottle of water within arm’s reach of where you are working. This will help stave off any junk food cravings whilst ensuring that you are having something nutritious and staying hydrated
- Pin up some paper or use a whiteboard for your todo list
Having your todo list front and place instead of in a notebook will help you keep on track with tasks and will serve as a handy reminder. Post-It dining room wall anyone?
- Take a break
This is vital for maintaining your mental health and to ensure and can help break up the day. Many forget how much they move around at work, either to get coffee or to visit someone else at their desk.
All these little breaks are key for giving your mind a breather and to ensure your body isn’t in the same position for too long, cause it to become stiff. So be sure to get up and move around at least every few hours, go get a glass of water or go outside for some fresh air, your mind and body will thank you.
- Create a mental dump zone
Ever have the feeling that you have so much to do or think about, but you haven’t got a clue about where to start? If this is the case, then try and dump all of your mental thoughts on a bit of paper or on a white board as previously mentioned.
You can even have “do now, do later” columns and even one about things you are currently worried about.
This is a great mental exercise to do even when not at work, as it has been found to assist with anxiety and help promote mindfulness.
- Make a list of 3 tasks the night before
Like the above, writing a list of 3 tasks to do the night before or as you finish work will help you “hit the ground” running the following work morning.
It will also help you to prioritise your tasks and prevent you from losing sleep over any issues you will face the next day.
Also remember to not be afraid to ask for help! Managers, colleagues, family, friends…we are all in this together.
Don’t forget that should you feel unwell, follow the NHS advice here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/