5 ways to make working from home work for you.

With digital media work being conducted primarily online, often it may feel more practical to stay home – whether that’s because you have a long commute, disability requirements, kids to watch… or if a certain pandemic means social distancing is prudent. Either way, WFH is the new OOO. Here are some things to think about when planning your work from home.

Office hours only.

You (hopefully) wouldn’t go into the office at 3am, so be realistic about the hours you work. Even though you’re at home, you’re still working – and the little things add up quickly. Turn off Slack, stop refreshing your email, put your phone on silent and clock off. Go off-grid. Set status to away. You don’t want to burn out, so outline reasonable “office hours” and stick to them.

Dress for success.

Okay, no one is saying you have to wear a power suit, but maybe save the pyjamas for when you clock off? Completing your normal morning routine and getting dressed into (albeit comfier than usual) work clothes sets the tone for the day and puts you in the right mindset to get going. You can wear joggers, though, we won’t tell anyone.

Location, location, location.

Working from bed or a comfy sofa might be tempting, but dear reader, resist! Keep personal spaces for personal life. Set yourself up with a nice workspace. If you have a desk – amazing. If not, make do. Fill it with things you like to look at, sit up straight, have snacks on hand. Don’t let your work bits and bobs migrate – unread emails are notorious duvet hoggers.

Social distancing ≠ Social isolation.

Chat to someone. Call a mate on your lunch break, scroll through Twitter while the kettle boils, give yourself a pep talk in the mirror. Google Hangouts is free, and so is dropping someone a WhatsApp to see what they’re up to. Don’t go full hermit.

Let’s get physical! 

Take a walk, even if it’s just to the end of the road and back. Drink a glass of water. Stretch, even if it’s sitting down. Have a snack. Give your face a quick wash. You don’t have to run a marathon, but listen to what your body needs and keep your physical wellbeing in mind. Staying stagnant can make you feel worse when the afternoon slump hits.

It may feel strange and unusual, shifting from a face-to-face office environment to only seeing your colleagues through a screen, but it’s worth remembering that having the ability to work from home is a lucky position to be in – and important to be thankful for the frontline workers who are out, facing the public to provide vital services. Remember where your pasta, loo roll and paracetamol come from.

Stay safe, look after yourself… and wash your flipping hands.

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