10 ways to feel good at work while working from home
Working from home has been increasing in popularity over the past few years and many companies have remote workers all over the world. Now, many more people are finding themselves working from home for the first time.
Whether you work from home on a regular basis or this is all new to you, here are some tips to help you stay productive and keep your spirits up.
- Keep in touch with your colleagues. Phone, video call and instant message with your colleagues throughout the day. There are a lot of facilities available to ensure you can continue working as a team. A daily team catch up is a great way to stay focused on common goals and keep up company morale. Don’t forget it’s not all work work work; chat with your colleagues about your kids, your weekend or whatever else, the way you normally would in the office.
- Stick to a daily routine. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a defined workday. Get up, get dressed and start your day as normal. Take a lunch break. At the end of the workday, turn off your computer, sign out of work emails and keep your free time as just that.
- Take regular breaks. Don’t stay glued to your screen all day. It's important to take regular screen breaks where you get up from your desk and move around. People take natural screen breaks in the office to talk to colleagues, get a coffee or walk over to the printer; at home make the effort to take those same short breaks.
- Put the radio on in the background so you’re not working in complete silence. If you’re used to working in a busy office, you may find it hard to concentrate if it’s too quiet so put something on in the background. But as a general rule: radio good, TV bad. The idea is to create a relaxing work atmosphere not to have anything on that distracts you.
- Go for a walk. Take a break and go for a short walk. Getting out for some fresh air and a change of scenery will be good for both your physical and mental health, so you can get back to work refreshed.
- Set up a proper work area. Slouching on the sofa with your laptop balanced on your knees or lounging on your bed not only gets you in the wrong head space for working effectively, it is also really bad for your posture and can lead to back and neck pain. Ideally, you should sit up properly at a desk on an ergonomic office chair. If this isn’t possible, sit up at the dining table or breakfast bar. You should be able to sit with your wrists and forearms flat on the desktop with your elbows at 90° and the top of your screen should be at eye level.
- Separate your work and home life. Try to create a dedicated workspace where you can focus on your work. If you have kids or pets at home, try to separate your home office from the rest of the house to prevent distractions: close the door if you can or set a schedule so that everyone knows when you need to concentrate or join a conference call. Set aside break times to spend with the kids where they know they have your full attention.
- Make sure you know what is expected of you. Keep in regular contact with your manager and ensure you are clear on what they expect you to achieve.
- Exercise. Boost your energy levels by doing a mini workout: run up and down the stairs, do 10 jumping jacks every hour on the hour, follow along with a fitness video in your lunch break, whatever works for you. Not only is exercise good for your body, it can also help you stay awake and focused.
- Ask for help. If you’re struggling to work effectively away from the office, share your concerns with your colleagues and manager. They can share their experiences and help you come up with strategies for working better.