How to work from home

By 1st Apr 2020 Jul 20th, 2020 Office Design Tips

As workplace design specialists, we’ve seen our fair share of office structures and company cultures in our time. We know, for sure, that every business is different. We also know, that for the most part, human psychology is usually the same; we respond similarly to certain things and we are affected similarly by others.

As we face this time of isolated and remote working, here are some tips to help you, not only stay sane, but make the most of the experience.

Create a routine

This is the most important element when it comes to remote working. It’s all too easy to lie in bed a little longer. A schedule will keep you grounded. If you don’t have a schedule and stick to it your home-working life will unravel.

  • Wake up at your usual time and follow your usual morning routine.
  • Exercise! VERY important. Get it out of the way early in the day. You need the benefits of exercise to help you stay sane at this time.
  • Have meals at mealtimes and sit at your usual dining space.
  • Have regular coffee breaks. Walk around and break the routine for 10 minutes.
  • Schedule regular team meetings, chats, and calls so that you maintain as much link to normality as possible. Maintain a routine as close as possible to what you were doing when you were in the office. This consistency will keep things feeling ‘normal’.
  • Include some variety into your schedule too. Avoid that ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling of repetitiveness.
  • Finish work at a reasonable time. Switch off devices and move away from your work area. It’s time to leave work.
  • Schedule time for yourself, daily. Time for fun and relaxation, time for socialising and time for self-care. 
  • Create a routine and schedule for your kids too. Make sure it has lots of variety, not too much screen time, varied activities, and is structured similarly to a day at school. This will help them stay positive and balanced and keep them occupied while you work.

Avoid Loneliness

It’s all too easy to experience feelings of loneliness when working in isolation and we quickly realise that the many constant distractions we experienced at the office were often quite comforting. 

With a little conservative planning we can include human contact time (remotely of course) to help us remain connected to the world:

  • Book a virtual ‘lunch date’ with a college and use the time to chat and catch up.
  • Create team meetings first thing in the morning, a quick check-in over a virtual coffee to start the day. This helps remind us of purpose and also keeps us accountable.
  • Have regular one-one meetings with teammates/staff/management in order to keep things moving and keep the connection alive!

Avoid distraction:

  • Create your home-office space, somewhere where you can do focus work without being disturbed. Even a small corner will help.
  • Set boundaries for the family, works times are set and this means no interrupting!
  • Switch off disruptive reminders and social media for set hrs of the day.
  • Block book your focus time in manageable chunks, allowing yourself small coffee breaks in between. This will keep you productive.

Comfort

It’s important to be comfortable at work and home-office is no different. 

  • One of the best benefits to home-working is being able to wear whether you want. Get dressed for comfort.
  • Set up your workspace to support the work you need to do. Make sure you have everything you need close at hand.
  • Adequate lighting is essential. Both task lighting and natural light are both important.
  • A workspace near a window will allow fresh air to flow, natural light in and possibly even a view.
  • Greenery – position a plant on or near your workspace. Its always been important in the office and it’s just as important in your home workspace. Plants connect us to the outside; they clean the air and the add to our psychological sense of well-being.
  • If possible, use a task chair designed for office use. The ergonomic and health benefits are important.

We hope these tips help you weather the coming weeks working from home. Subscribe to our blog and keep up-to-date on all office trends and designs. 

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Derek Stedman

Author Derek Stedman

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