Working From Home (During a Pandemic)

By Brooke Stephenson

Two years ago, none of us would have thought this is what life would be like in 2021; a life where the postman interrupts your meeting (on Zoom), or one where you’re wearing pyjama bottoms whilst you’re ‘at work’! However, there are many ways to make it a little bit easier! Here are a few tips on how to enjoy working from home.

Organise Your Work Space – 

Organising your workspace and/or your office, really helps you to focus on your work as there are fewer distractions and can also boost your creativity! Here are some ideas on how to organise your desk:

  • Declutter! Get rid of all those wrappers and random bits of paper!
  • Clean. Take everything off your desk and give it a good wipe down with antibacterial wipes. You should also wipe your keyboard and use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen.
  • Only keep the essentials; Less is more! Have only the objects you use daily close to your hands, such as stationery, your calendar/planner, a notebook and of course, your laptop or computer. 

Also, it can sometimes be worth investing in things that will help improve your work life and make life easier for you. Here are some examples:

  • A memory foam seat cushion. These can take the strain off your lower back and are relatively inexpensive, starting at around £12.
  • A desk fan. Perfect for Summer or stuffy rooms! Starting at around £6.
  • A laptop stand.

These can be adjusted in height and take the strain off of your eyes, neck and shoulders. It is also healthier for your laptop as the fans will be lifted off the desk, making it unlikely to overheat. Starting at around £15.

Plan Your Day/Week –

Planning your workday or week can help you get organised and help you stay on top of meetings, tasks and events. If you’re anything like me, I like to physically see and tick off things on my to-do list on paper, so calendars and planners are my best friend! It can also be therapeutic and helpful to colour-code different topics, i.e. write all meetings in purple.

Take Breaks From the Screen – 

It is suggested that you take a break from your computer for 5-10 minutes every 90 minutes. This will ease the strain on your eyes and help prevent back pain. It can also boost productivity, strengthen your memory and help reduce stress and anxiety!

Here are some productive break ideas:

  • Stretch – to help prevent neck and back pain
  • Sit outside for a few minutes – to get some fresh air
  • Meditate – to relax and clear your headspace 

Get out of the house – 

It is important to not isolate yourself when you are working from home. It is very easy to get detached and unsociable, so make sure you stay connected with friends and family and meet up with them when you can (unless we are in lockdown… again). If you are unable to, then a 30-minute walk per day will help you stay active (and sane)! Also ensure that you are still doing the things you love, like gardening, running or yoga etc. it improves mental health and can help take your mind off of work for a while.

Take This Opportunity to Improve Your Life or Try New Things –  

Although working from home has its downfalls, there are lots of positives to it, too! Think of the time and money you are saving on fuel and driving to work and all the time it took you getting ready in the mornings.

Here’s a list of ideas of things you could do with your newfound time:

  • Exercise. Walk, run, dance; anything that gets you moving!
  • Spend more time with your friends and family.
  • Fix things around the house or do a spring clean.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Join a club. It can even be online.
  • Try new foods.
  • Try new hobbies. You never know what you might end up enjoying!
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