Our home is a site of relaxation, but for an increasing number of us it is also becoming a place of work. For those of us who are working remotely for the first time, we are quickly learning how to set up a home office. That’s step one! Use these tips to help keep your day productive and positive.
1. Let the sunshine In With work from home and sheltering in place quickly becoming the new (necessary) norm, easy and prolonged access to the great outdoors is becoming more difficult. Time spent in nature is known to help alleviate stress and boost feelings of vitality. How do we achieve this today? If you are lucky enough to have access to a balcony or backyard, make use of it as often as possible: enjoy meals al fresco, read your book or perform your yoga routine outside. When working, try to set up your workstation near a window to enjoy the benefits of natural light. Not only will you reduce your eye strain but sunlight also helps trigger the release of serotonin, and when serotonin levels rise you feel more alert. Let the sunshine in and be energized.
2. Get a move on As hours, days, and weeks begin to blur together it is easy to lose track of time. How many hours in a row have you been sitting in front of your laptop? Add in the fact that for many of us our post work activities are streaming a show, or Facetiming with friends and families, and we are probably spending more time than ever being sedentary. Schedule regular breaks (every 60 - 90 minutes) to get up and moving. Run up and down the stairs (if you have access to them), perform weight-bearing exercises (squats, push-ups, plank), or break a sweat with your favourite online workout video.. This will not only help you increase focus and concentration, but will ease stress, too.
3.Food free zone We already know that laptops and computers don’t mix. It’s messy, it’s easy to slip into mindless eating and we risk damaging our lifeline to the world! Eat your meals away from your workstation. Enjoy the mental break of time away from work and savour your meals through mindful eating. The result will be in a more product afternoon.
4. Your community is only a click away Remember you are not alone - connect with your colleagues (email, Slack, - whatever channels your company has set up for internal communication). In a recent survey of remote workers 36% struggled with loneliness or connecting with colleagues. And this was before COVID-19! Staying connected is now more important than ever. Consider using video conferencing when possible, and add in buffer time to meetings to allow colleagues to connect on a personal level before getting down to business.