How not to work from home

Many of us are finding that we’re working from home for the first time in their careers this week – myself included. Here’s how not to do it…

Don’t… stay in your pyjamas

I did this yesterday. I didn’t wash my face, I didn’t put any make-up on, and guess what – I felt like a total slob all day. Plus there’s the risk that your boss asks everyone to put their cameras on for the team call so that you feel more connected – and webcams are unflattering enough at the best of times. Try and stick to a similar routine of getting ready as you would for going out to work – get dressed, brush your hair, apply make-up if you wear it, and get prepared for the day ahead.

Don’t… think your environment isn’t important

Just like your office, your home working environment is super important. I just did a deep clean of my flat a couple of days ago and it’s made such a difference to how I feel about being there, which is good because I’m going to be there a LOT over the next few weeks. Don’t get comfy on the couch over there, as tempting as it is. Set up a proper desk space, preferably near a window, light some scented candles, and stick on some music so you’re not just sitting in dead silence all day. It’s all about the hygge, right?

Don’t… disconnect from your colleagues

As an introvert, if you’d asked me what I thought about working from home last week I would have told you I was delighted at the prospect. Ask me again at 3.12pm yesterday. I was O-V-E-R it. Already. I’d really under estimated how much I enjoy the gentle buzz of the office. It doesn’t have to stop: chat to your colleagues on WhatsApp or Slack, schedule a Skype call to discuss the projects you’re working on, or just check in with them to ask how their day has been. It sounds fluffy, but it’s important to feel connected at a time like this.

Don’t… beat yourself up about your productivity

Working from home brings a whole load of distractions: pets, partners, your phone, no one checking that you’re checking your phone, etc. Don’t beat yourself up about taking breaks though – because you’re not taking part in all the usual watercooler chat that would usually wipe a whole chunk out your day. You’ll probably find that when you do focus you get way more done, so much so that the occasional Instagram scroll isn’t that much of a big deal. If it is, move your phone out of reach.

Don’t… avoid exercise

You might be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do any exercise whatsoever. For my part, I’m using my former commute time to go out for a quick morning run. This is something I regularly do at the weekend and it kickstarts the day really well and gets me feeling motivated and productive. If I miss it I feel like I could literally just waste the whole day and drift through hours of scrolling, watching TV, and doing nothing. If you don’t fancy venturing outside then a home workout on YouTube is also a great option.

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