10 ways to make WFH mean Winning From Home
Starting to go a little stir crazy as you work from home? There’s a lot you can do to make sure you stay focused and productive.
As an international workspace provider, we know just how important it can be to work from home in terms of health, wellbeing and performance. But being made to do it — all week — is something else entirely. For starters, it’s difficult to be genuinely collaborative. The home setup doesn’t suit every type of work activity. And, over time, it can be increasingly difficult to focus.
But there are simple strategies and hacks that can make it go more smoothly. And many will be just as useful once you’re back in the office, too.
1.Structure your day
You probably do this when you’re in the office — but have you while you’ve been working from home? Do you still wake up at the same time? Are you still taking a shower before you start? Of course, you can change some things.
But if you can keep the basis of a regular structure, you’ll work with more rhythm and get a better sense of progression. Plus: think ahead. If you know you’ve got a big task tomorrow, plan to do it during your most productive part of the day.
2. Balance your work and ‘me’ time
Commuting, for all the faults it sometimes brings, gives you time to switch into work mode. So one of the trickiest aspects of working from home is there’s just yards between your bed and your ‘desk’.
We recommend designating one or two areas around the home as ‘workspace zones’, and avoid them during your personal time. Also, try to work set hours; and if you live with family, make sure you spend a couple of hours together — so it doesn’t get too lonely.
3. Immerse yourself in nature
Yes, it’s perhaps not the easiest thing to do right now. But having natural elements around you can reduce stress levels — and improve wellbeing and productivity by 15%. An obvious example is getting some houseplants, many of which do a great job of purifying the air. But biophilia goes beyond plants to include:
● Music with biophilic tones, like running water, birdsong and bee sounds.
● Natural materials such as wood and stone.
● Patterns that mimic natural shapes, including waves and leaves.
● An aquarium.
So, look around your home. Find things that could be considered biophilic and make sure they’re part of your ‘workspace zone’.
4. Sit healthily
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, it’s likely you sit for long parts of the day. Some people can adjust their table, or switch to a different type of workspace. But very few of us have those luxuries at home. One thing you can mimic, though, is how you sit while you’re working.
So, while we know it’s tempting to lounge on a sofa or lie on a bed — don’t! It’s not what you’d usually do at work, and it’s definitely not good for your neck or back either!
5. Take regular breaks
It might be easy to get into a rhythm of work with no one around to distract you, but you’ll be more productive if you take regular breaks. Plan them ahead of time, so you’ve something to look forward to.
Ideally, take a 5–15 minutes break after every 1–1,5 hour of work. Then, after working for 2–4 hours, do something non-work related for at least 30 minutes. Here are our suggestions about what you can do to take your mind off things. Just be sure you don’t swap a big screen for your mobile!
▪ Stretch your body.
▪ Walk around your house, or take the trash out.
▪ Eat some fruits or treat yourself to a smoothie — your brain runs on glucose.
▪ Read a book or magazine.
▪ Drink a cup of tea or coffee.
▪ Call a relative, friend or colleague (without talking about work!).
▪ Do some chores, like the washing, dishes or water some plants.
▪ Play some music or an instrument.
6. Give yourself some air
Fresh air is vital for your brain and productivity. Make sure you open a window so your home is well ventilated.
7. Harness creativity
The act of making or adding something artistic for the home stimulates creativity, and then you get to enjoy that creativity once it’s in place. So it can be hugely beneficial to decorate your home office (and your work office) with your favourite art. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, it could be an inspirational print, a pop-culture poster, a colourful mug or even your own art.
8. Select the right music track
Music can be a great companion to work. But it can be a distraction too, especially if you’re reading or writing. We’ve created a number of soundscapes tailored to different activities: focusing, concentrating, being creative and relaxing. If curious, how they interact with your brain, read about it in our blog.
9. Soak up the right kind of light
Sitting in beams of daylight can actively fight stress. Also, they help to maintain your body clock and regulate your sleep cycle. Try to sit in a spot that’s lit naturally (and make sure you face the window so there’s no glare on your screen). At sunset and during the evening, minimise the blue light of your screens and mobile phone with warm light filters, as this will help you sleep easier.
10. Catch up on sleep
Sleep deprivation is so widespread today that we’re virtually used to it — how many times have you heard someone brag about how they work late into the night.
But sleeping less than seven high-quality hours a night has a terrible effect on our mental and physical health, as well as our performance. The less we sleep the less time our brain and its cells have time to recover. Want to know how much sleep you really need? Check out our blog on how to get a good night’s shut-eye.