This last week has been a huge shock to the system and will see many people working remotely for the foreseeable future. Whilst we’re lucky as an industry to be able to adapt to these new conditions, homeworking is a significant mental adjustment that takes a bit of getting used to. For anyone coming at it cold, here are 11 tips from 11 Londoners on how to work from home.
Set a routine
A steady routine can help keep the mind and body calm. Get up at the same time each day, have a proper breakfast, and don’t stay in your pyjamas – you never know when you might have an emergency video call! Give your day structure by planning your time carefully and setting yourself specific goals which you can review regularly.
Create a dedicated workspace
When home and office environments merge, it can be more difficult to get into (and out of) work mode. To combat this, try to set up a specific workspace, ideally not in your bedroom, to help focus the mind. If you’re low on options for space in a flat share, you could ask your housemates to swap rooms during office hours to help keep things separate.
Connect with your colleagues
For many of us, the biggest thing we’ll miss when working from home is seeing our team. With so many people feeling isolated, it’s more important than ever to invest in your communication with your colleagues. Don’t fall into the trap of indefinite emailing – pick up the phone and have a proper chat.
Social activities are a huge part of agency culture, and something we’re intent on protecting. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be testing out virtual book clubs, coffees and bar nights, so that we can spend time together (separately, of course).
Make sure you get up and move from your desk throughout the day and set yourself an hourly reminder if necessary. If you’re able to get outside, try going for an early morning walk and get some life-affirming daylight before you start your working day. If you’re looking for indoor-based activities, there are many fitness instructors offering classes online, or you could try following a Youtube tutorial.
Set boundaries with family
If you’re a parent, you’ll know that many young children can find working from home quite confusing. Having a family chat about what you need from each other when working from home can help to make things clearer. Try to gently establish boundaries with your kids while you’re working and make time for them when you are finished.
Without the natural pauses that come from working with other people, it’s important to give yourself small breaks between tasks. Whilst it’s tempting to just try and plough through, giving yourself some headspace will help with productivity and motivation. Make sure you take a proper lunch break, away from your screen, and eat something nourishing.
Be careful with social media
Having a healthy relationship with social media is hard at the best of times, but it’s especially difficult now. Whilst it’s tempting to keep checking the rolling news updates, these can leave many people feeling anxious and distressed. Try to give yourself a break during the working day or set yourself specific times to read the news.
Keep drinking water
This might seem like the most basic self-care advice, but it’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re engrossed with work at home. Keep a jug near your desk to remind yourself to stay hydrated and go easy on the caffeinated drinks.
Stick to your working hours
When working from home there’s a temptation to keep working late but doing this consistently can lead to burn out. Be protective of your evening downtime and set yourself a daily cut off point. Turn off your devices and try to unwind by doing something that doesn’t involve a screen, like reading or playing a board game with your family.
Pay attention to small, beautiful things
Be mindful of moments of happiness every day. This could be anything from having a lovely breakfast, enjoying a good cup of coffee, catching up with a colleague, or creating the most beautiful excel spreadsheet of all time! Keep sharing funny videos and memes with your colleagues and remind yourself that this will pass. The sacrifices that we’re making now will help us get back to normality sooner, help protect vulnerable people, and support essential workers and healthcare professionals through this challenging time.
About 11 London
11 London is an advertising and communications agency, based in West London. We work in the areas of health and humanity - with organisations, brands or products that improve or prolong life. To learn more about 11 London, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org