Just a year ago, working from home (WFH), wasn’t something many of us had experienced. A strange thought now after most of us have been forced to close the doors of our offices and head home for the foreseeable future.
By now many of us have been working from home, at least in some capacity, since March. For some, it has been a welcome break from the mundane, busy, morning commute. No longer standing like sardines on the tube at 8am. However, adapting to working from your home all week has had its ups and downs.
WFH experiences differ greatly depending on your household, some live alone, others with family, in a house-share or as a single parent with children. Personally, I spent most of my WFH time in a house of other remote working newbies as we grappled with the dodgy WiFi and trying to stay silent while one of us was on a conference call. I have put together a few tips for WFH, in case you’re still struggling to get in the groove.
1. Find somewhere to set up your makeshift office space
This is something I struggled with, I tried sitting on the sofa thinking the level of comfort I would experience would be great. In reality, I was shifting my position constantly which resulted in a sore lower back. I realised a table and a chair (a good supportive chair I might add), try adding a cushion for back support, was the best way to get my day started.
2. Stay hydrated
This one might sound super obvious, but hear me out. I don’t know about you but when I’m working in the office I always have a cup of tea or my refillable water bottle on the go. It’s a nice excuse to stretch your legs and have a chat with your colleague while waiting for the kettle to boil. Being at home, the walk to the kitchen isn’t as interesting. The motivation to get up and move might make you forget that you haven’t had a sip of something for a couple of hours. Get that kettle on!
3. Webcam backgrounds could be your saving grace
Some of us don’t have the benefit of having a separate workspace in our homes. If you’re worried about your background not looking professional enough for meetings there are a couple of options. In Zoom and Microsoft Teams there are options to change your background to a photo of your choice. Teams also have the option to blur your background, making it look more seamless but keeping your privacy. These are simple but really effective, plus they mean you don’t have to tidy up before a call.
4. Make a relaxing playlist
Music is great for getting you in the zone to work. It can also be a great way to distract from the background noise you might have in your house. Of course, you’ll need to pause it for meetings, but while you’re doing uninterrupted work a relaxing playlist can help your concentration and increase your motivation.
5. Smart clothing doesn’t have to be uncomfortable
Business on the top, party on the bottom. Or you could say smarter on the top and very comfortable casual-wear on the bottom. The key is to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself if you stand up with your webcam on and everyone sees you’re wearing last year’s Christmas pyjama bottoms. Get yourself some simple items that are comfortable and easy to pair with a smarter top for virtual meetings.
Working from home definitely has its perks but it can also be draining. Not having a differentiation between home and work can make the day’s feel repetitive. Hopefully adding some new songs to your playlist or spicing up your Zoom background will help you feel more productive and happier!