Working from home off the dining room table

If your business or place of work is facing a few weeks with enforced working from home because of the coronavirus, here are some things to think about putting in place.

Working from home for some of you will be the best thing ever. For others, it will be your worst nightmare especially if you’re a social creature, crave interaction and the structure and buzz of working in an office environment.

If you’re forced to do it, how do you stay focused and productive without being distracted when you’re used to that daily structure and routine?

  1. If you don’t already have a home office or a designated space to work, find somewhere at home that works for you. More than likely if you don’t, it will be sitting at the kitchen/dining room table. Make sure that you’re comfortable, check if your back needs support, try a cushion.
  2. Standing up to work at a breakfast bar or kitchen counter could be another option, you could take calls standing up to keep your steps up.
  3. Schedule in video chats rather than voice calls with your team at the start of the day and maybe at the end of the day to touch base on progress with projects and work.
  4. If you’re used to going out to lunch with a work buddy, maybe have a video lunch instead.
  5. Working in your PJs or being dressed for work? Some people relish the thought of working in their pyjamas all day. If you’re on video calls, you may want to make sure that at least your top half looks professional.
  6. To keep focused set a timer and work in chunks of time. You could try the Pomodoro Technique where you work in four blocks of 25 minutes with a 5 minute break in between each block and a 20-30 minute break at the end of the fourth which time it will probably be time for a lunch break.
  7. During your regular breaks get up move around and stretch especially if you’re not sitting on a comfy office chair.
  8. Avoid domestic distractions until lunchtime or the end of the day – cleaning and ironing suddenly become appealing when you’re working from home!
  9. If we’re not in complete lockdown, get outside for a quick walk to keep your steps up or least the garden or a balcony if you have one to get some fresh air.
  10. None of us know how long we’re going to be affected by the virus but try and keep to a daily working routine as in times of stress or uncertainty familiarity is key.
  11. Resist the temptation to snack – when the kitchen cupboards and fridge are groaning with food it is so easy to keep eating.
  12. No commute means that you have extra time in your day – maybe use this ‘working from home’ experience as a great opportunity to keep fit and healthy.
  13. Look after YOU, for some mentally this is a very stressful time, it’s a fear of the unknown, who knows what will happen? This is a great time to start meditation or mindfulness – apps like Calm and Headspace are brilliant.

working from home and standing up to work


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