In 2020, everything we thought we knew was turned on its head. Once a rare luxury reserved for the more important among us, working from home has now become the norm. In fact, more than half of all global businesses are now offering some form of work from home option.
Sometimes, you’ve got to love working from home. Doing spreadsheets from bed, having your dog there to get you through those Monday morning meetings. You can even wear Pyjamas all day if you like (waist down only for the zoom calls.)
But let’s be honest, working from home is not always all it’s cracked up to be. It can get lonely at times, it isn’t always easy to motivate yourself and the fridge can be more distracting than you ever thought possible. Perhaps the biggest problem of all is trying to stay productive. Creating a productive space and maintaining your productivity can be a real struggle.
We have experienced all of this first hand, and put this handy list together to help get you working that little bit better from home.
1. Dress to impress
I know I joked about wearing PJ’s waist down, but that doesn’t mean we all should. It may feel like there’s no point getting dressed up for your cat, but in fact there might be. Studies have shown that putting on your work clothes puts you in the right mind set to be productive, just like making your bed in the morning. Our social media manager Oli even recommends wearing shoes. It’s proven to make you more productive!
2. Get A Routine Going
Routine is key to a healthy work/life balance. Of course, everyone’s routine is different and depends on your commitments and work schedule. Whilst many of us working from home are still doing the 9-5, there are those who work irregular shifts. We have a friend who works on the New York Stock Exchange and doesn’t start work until around 2pm.
Whatever your routine, the key is trying to establish a healthy balance and creating schedules. For example, work from 8-12, have lunch and work out. Then carry on from 1– 5PM. Within this, it is also important to take frequent breaks away from screens.
It’s also important to break the routine when you’ve got time off. When home becomes the office, it’s easy to feel like you’ve living at work, rather than working at Home. Take a walk in the evening, or go to the park with a friend on the weekend.
3. Stay Healthy
Long exposure to screens can have damaging results on your eyes, mind and posture. It is a great idea to take regular breaks, we recommend at least 10 minutes every two hours.
Sitting down for long periods of time can also take its toll. Why not take walks after or before work or squeeze in a quick living room yoga session (So 2020). Staying connected with nature and taking fresh air is also important for your mental health, but so is staying connected with your friends and family! Keep in touch during your breaks, life isn’t all work.
4. Get some gear & apps to help you out
Getting your office set up well can make all the difference to your working environment. Here’s some tips from the Odysee guys:
- Laptop Stand - Oli uses a laptop stand when working to help with neck and back strain. Rather than bending over your laptop.
- Desk Mat - A large desk mat is a great way to keep your work space clean and organised. It is also a more comfortable way of working and doubles up as a mouse mat, we have been using this felt one from Amazon.
- Audible - Audible is an audio book service from Amazon, your first month is free. Audible is a great way to unwind and listen to your favourite books in the background whilst working or on your break.
- Calm – For many of us, recent events have taken their toll on our mental health . Now might be a good time to try one of the mediation and sleep support apps. Our team personally use Calm and we have loved the experience so far.
- Ergonomic mouse - Working from home often involves a lot of work on your desktop/laptop. An Ergonomic mouse mimics the natural handshake postion which can reduce pain and stress injuries.
- True Wireless Headphones - True wireless headphones have become really handy during the pandemic, especially for handsfree calls. We picked up these Aukey ones latley and they perform really well for under £25.00.
- Odysee screen glasses – Of course, we had to slip this one in there. If you’re someone who has trouble sleeping or gets regular headaches and/or sore, dry eyes from a lot of screen time, try our blue light blocking glasses. They could make all the difference. Oh, and they look great too.
5. Ask for Stuff!
If you’re employed by a company who supports your working from home situation, then don’t be afraid to let them know if you need any new gear. From chairs and mouse mats to printers and laptops, let them know sooner rather than later. Many organisations have a budget set aside for this sort of thing. Don’t forget, if you’re in a good, productive environment, It’s good for them too.