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Working from home when the novelty has worn off

Oct 02, 2020

With the government still encouraging people to work from home where they can, how do we stay motivated? Nimesh Shah suggests six ways to help boost productivity while working remotely.

Autumn is here and you’re still working from home. The novelty of working from home has most certainly started to wear off. Without the re-assuring repetitiveness of your daily commute and the friendly banter from your team, you may be feeling as bleak as the weather.

Not everyone finds it easy to work from home, especially if you are distracted by children, your partner (who is also trying to work from home), household chores and the doorbell constantly ringing. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your motivation levels up while continuing to work from home:

Create a routine

Structure makes our brains happy because the patterns and routines we don’t have to think about will allow our brain to go into autopilot. Establishing a set routine (with some room for flexibility) will give your day some structure. This should make you more efficient, productive and hopefully more at ease in these uncertain times. If you are consistent and the routine loosely mimics the one you had when you were at the office, it should work for you.

Get dressed

Even if you put on sweatpants and a jumper, putting on your daytime clothes will make a big difference to your mindset. If you work in your pyjamas, you’ll still be in ‘relax mode’ which won’t make you feel motivated to get things done.

Designate a workspace

Working from bed may be comfortable (although not for long as you may develop back issues), but your mind probably won’t be in ‘work mode’. The key thing is to find a space that will take you away from household distractions and get you to focus on the job.

Make mobility part of your routine

Seeing the same four walls non-stop isn't good for anyone. Exercise will stop you feeling lethargic from sitting at home all day, especially as the days get shorter. So, leave your phone at home and go for a walk or a run early before the start of the day for the amount of time it would take you to commute into the office, if possible.

Room lighting

It’s important to have the right level of room lighting. You need comfortable lighting to be able to see all kinds of documents, but these must be ones that will not blind you. Also, the lighting should not be too dim as this will make you feel sleepy and less productive.

Stick to your work hours

We are well aware of how bad screen time can be for your health. Unless you have a particular deadline that you need to hit, you should stick to your structured work hours as much as possible. It’s important to be able to relax after your workday. This is easier to do if you shut the laptop and ignore your emails from the moment your workday ends.

Try to organise fun and relaxing things for yourself to do after work.  Pop on an eye mask and have a long warm bath, have a solo disco, a video chat or read a book to help you slip more easily into ‘relax mode’.

Nimesh Shah is Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts.