We're living in unprecedented times and there's no doubt that the majority of us have seen a massive change in the way we're now working on a day to day basis. Over a million of us across the UK are now working from home during this lockdown and no doubt we're all finding it difficult but there are some even little things that can help us out.
I for one, have been working from home in my day job in marketing for three weeks now. Having spent the majority of 2018 - 2019 working part time and freelancing I got used to using my bedroom as my living space and office. During that time I learnt a couple of tricks and tips that made my working life easier and I've picked up some of these with my recent shift to working from home again.
Keep your work and life separate as much as possible.
I mentioned that I work out of my bedroom when I'm freelancing but one thing I've learnt is that it can sometimes take over if you're also trying to live in your workspace. It's not easy when you still live with your parents who are also working from home but I've managed to set up a desk for myself away from the rest of the house which means I can tidy away my work at the end of the day and forget about it as much as I can over the weekend. Keeping your work and life separate also means not continuing to check your emails once you've clocked off. I must admit I've had some difficulties with us when I found myself last week checking my work email at 9pm on a Saturday night. This is still a work in a progress!!
Get dressed in the morning.
My more productive days recently have been those when I've gotten dressed not in loungewear but in proper clothes! There have also been the days when I've worn leggings and loungewear and this is still ok but nothing's better than having a shower, getting dressed in proper clothes before taking on the day ahead.
Set yourself an alarm and keep to a routine.
The one thing I've found difficult is keeping to a routine. On a normal work day I'd be getting up at 6am, spending an a hour getting ready before setting off on my morning commute. Even though my new routine means getting up at 8am and also getting 2 or 3 hours more sleep an evening it has totally thrown me off my routine. Next week I plan on working on this, getting up slightly earlier, setting an alarm and getting out of bed straight away. Even if your commuting from your bedroom to your living room making sure you stick to a routine will help out you productivity in the long run.
Get as much fresh air and exercise as possible (within your allotted outside time, of course) .
Take your daily dose of outside time. I'm used to walking to outside for at least half an hour each day. Walking to and from the bus to work and also I'm lucky to work somewhere so close to nature which means I could normally take a walk through woodlands at lunchtime. Working from home I have less of this freedom and lockdown has limited us to half an hour outside each day. I can speak from experience and getting outdoors each day has definitely helped me feel more productive and positive about our current situation.
Take breaks and keep in touch with friends.
Probably the most important tip to help you look after your mental health during this time. Taking regular breaks away from your desk will help. Keeping in contact virtually with friends and family will help. Speak to colleagues about how your feeling and when your feeling down don't keep things to yourself. We live in a digital age which I've always had mixed views about how it's taken away our face to face contact but I'm now so grateful for Zoom, Face Time and Skype as we can continue to stay in touch while social distancing!
Hope these tips help you during this time, and keep and eye out for more design focused blogs soon!