5 Top Tips When Working From Home - Thriving Workplaces
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5 Top Tips When Working From Home

During this time of uncertainty, mass panic and what feels like smothering media coverage everywhere we turn, as a nation we are having to adapt (pretty quickly) in all aspects of our lives. Possibly the most important and relevant one, our working lives.

A large proportion of us are lucky enough to be in jobs where we can work from the comfort of our homes – great I hear you say! Not having to put make-up on everyday, what a relief! Getting to lay back on the sofa whilst catching-up on emails, pure bliss! Absolutely, this could be the case for some of us (most of us) however in the long term, the health benefits both physically and mentally may not be that great. So what can I do, I hear you ask.. read on to find out more.

At a time where health is of paramount importance to everyone more so than ever, below are our 5 top tips in staying healthy, happy and productive whilst working from home 🙂

1)   Even though it’s tempting to stay in your pj’s and dressing gown all day long, get dressed. You will feel far more productive and energised to combat the day ahead. Especially if you’ve teamed that up with a refreshing morning shower. Just because you aren’t physically commuting into work, doesn’t mean your morning routine should fall be the wayside. Studies have shown that humans are far less stressed and anxious when they create a routine for themselves, especially when it incorporates both physical and mental health. Getting up and ready for work is a routine in itself albeit during this time, your workplace is your living room. It also makes it better when you get changed later on, it communicates to your body and mind that you are allowed to ‘switch off’ because your work for the day is done 🙂

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2) If you have the option of choosing a designated working space in your home then utilise it. It’ll do wonders for your productivity! It’s always recommended that your designated area should be free from loud noises, be spacious enough for the work you need to do and be naturally bright enough to encourage healthy sunlight exposure. If you don’t have an office as such, think about what you could do to your designated space to promote a healthy environment. Invest in some sort of ‘desk’ storage where you can tidy things into to create a mess-free, more organised area.

The woman in me also screams out ‘invest in some house plants’

It is a well-known fact that not only do house plants look pretty damn lovely, they also can help to lower stress and anxiety through their ability to improve air quality and general workplace satisfaction. ‘Recent studies conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr conclude that participants working in an environment with plants were 12% more productive and less stressed than those who were simply surrounded by concrete walls. The study took place in a simulated office environment, where plants were the only variable. The interesting results also indicated that an environment with plants also has an influence on the blood pressure’ (EOffice, https://blog.eoffice.net/2014/10/importance-plants-office, 2014). With their health benefits, house plants also bring about calming qualities that can help towards anxieties during this time.

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3) For me personally, I struggle to work in solitary and in silence (if you’ve met me, you’ll agree). For some, this is the best way to work so play to your strengths. However if, like me, you only require silence rarely, experiment with background sounds to make you feel at ease. Nothing too loud to distract you (we don’t want to accidentally type the song lyrics into an email to your manager, mind-blip) but something to soothe any discomfort. If you are new to working from home and are struggling a little with feeling isolated and lonely, recommendations always point to using your TV or your favourite radio channel for sources of background, lighthearted sounds/music.

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4) HAVE A BREAK! Just like you would if you were at your workplace. We’ve all been a little guilty from time to time of not taking breaks in order to get things done quicker or just because it’s easier, sometimes we have not even had time to find time. However this point is crucial to your happiness and resilience. Giving yourself regular breaks away from laptops, phones and any type of work-related communication breathes a breath of fresh air into our minds. Whether it be designating your lunch break to watching your favourite Netflix series (you have to binge watch somehow), getting outside for some physical activity or to dedicate time for self-care (exploring mindfulness and meditation etc), these are all ways to level yourself out during a working day. Some of us may not have the option to do any of this at work, so why not try it at home? It helps to decide our working hours, to decide when to start work and switch off from work. That clear line helps define your ‘working day’ – team that with your designated working space, it’ll define your work/life balance better 🙂

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5) Lastly but by no means least, try whenever you can to eat as healthily as you can. It’s tempting to not want to over-eat on what should be your ‘dinner’ for that evening or dive straight into gorging on the kiddies chocolate bars and sweets (especially if you’ve stocked-up) but the more you over fuel your body with sugar, after that high.. you’ll hit that sweet sorry sugar low. Your productivity will reduce significantly, feelings of lethargy will soar and you may not feel as equipped to carry out your tasks for the day. We all know about the strong correlations between good mental health and physical exercise, the same goes for nutrition. Getting in your fruit and veg and drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day will not only make you feel healthier but also less lethargic during your working day. That doesn’t mean to say, no cakes at all! Incorporate some physical activity during your break to earn that extra slice 🙂

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So there were some of our top tips when working from home. If you want to know more about what you can do to improve your staff’s health and wellbeing, please contact hello@thrivingworkplaces.org.uk 🙂