As we delve into the fourth week of UK lockdown and working from the comfort of our own homes, chances are your motivation may be wavering. It almost feels normal now, doesn’t it? Your home set up is working better than you thought it would and office life is beginning to fade into a distant memory. But this won’t be forever, there will be a day where the 6 AM alarm penetrates your ears once more and the sleepy commute into work resumes. Undoubtedly, ‘normality’ will be redefined. For now though, we must continue to stay safe and stay at home. That means continuing to work from home, whatever that might look like. We have compiled together some of our top tips to make your every day working from home life a little easier.
Whilst it may be tempting to snooze until midday and work later, we all know that’s no good for anyone. Plus, who wants to work in the evening? Falling into bad habits now will make going back to ‘normal’ even more difficult. That’s why we would recommend sticking to the routine that you were in before (e.g start at 9 AM, finish at 5 PM). That way, you can plan your day ahead of time and stick to the schedule. If your colleagues do the same, working remotely as a team will be made much easier.
It’s easy to feel alone with nobody to swivel your chair over to or gather around the coffee pot for a quick chat. But remember, technology has made it easier than ever for us to communicate. We recommend Slack and Google Hangouts, platforms that have made staying connected as a team a breeze within Lightbox.
With multiple people editing the same document remotely, file sharing and amending can be made tricky. Having a consistent platform in place for this makes the process much more efficient. We have found Google Docs and Monday super handy for sharing work and planning together.
Your sofa might be soft and comfortable and your new kitchen chairs may look slick and modern, but your back may not thank you for it after a full days grind. Neither seat is realistic to what you would be sitting on at work, so where possible, find an appropriate chair with ample back support. Alongside this, try to set up an ‘office’ like desk and office workspace, with good lighting and plenty of room to place your cups of coffee and notebooks. The supplies you have at home may surprise you!
Make it yours
Whether you’re in your Christmas pyjamas or a suit and tie, your home office is your new workspace, so make it your own. Don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing, work in whatever way you feel most happy and comfortable. If you want to do your hair and makeup to feel ready for the day, do it. If you want to play those guilty pleasure 80s tunes, play them. If you don’t feel comfortable in the work environment you have created at home then you won’t work to your best capacity. You do you.
Take a break
It is surprisingly easy to stay glued to your laptop and work through 8 hours in the blink of an eye without looking up. But if you wouldn’t do that at work, don’t do it at home (also, we wouldn’t recommend doing that at work). Take your loo breaks, make a cup of tea and walk around for 5 minutes to give your legs a good stretch.
Definitely do the above but equally, try not to let the many distractions of your abode put you off the task in hand. The main culprit? You guessed it, your phone. (And for us, the fridge). You may be thinking a 5-minute scroll on Instagram won’t hurt, but we all know 5 minutes can quite quickly slip into an hour, knee-deep into YouTube videos about learning Japanese. If there are distractions that you have noticed slowing you down, put them out of sight and out of mind.
Don’t forget that your colleagues will likely be feeling how you are, so make sure to check in on them. Whether it’s a heart to heart or helping them out with a task, it’s essential to stay strong as a team and make sure everyone feels supported.
Tempting as it is to get a little more work done, where you can switch off after hours. There is always tomorrow to send that email, it can probably wait. Make the most of this period to spend a little more time with your loved ones and appreciate what you have around you. Take time for yourself to feel relaxed and refreshed for the next day.
As difficult as lockdown is and as worrying as coronavirus may be, try your best to stay positive. Don’t fall into a pit of negativity and anxiety from watching the news or reading scary figures. As real as the danger is, we have to maintain a healthy balance of reality and endurance. We are all in this together, literally. You are not alone and as a united force, we will get through this.