Working remotely is something that can take a bit of getting used to – switching from an office environment to your home or a co-working space means finding ways to be productive, motivated and avoid distractions.
Staying focused at home can feel like a challenge if the next episode of Queer Eye is calling your name or you get distracted by seeing how long you can balance a sock on your dog’s head (not very long in Poppy’s case).
However, there are easy ways to use home or remote working to your advantage. You can begin with the five basic senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and feel.
Create an appealing workspace if you can. At home, I have photographs of family and friends hanging on my wall, next to a couple of my favourite inspirational quotes (like the one below from my favourite scene in It’s a Wonderful Life). If you’re working in a shared environment, try and pick a spot with plenty of space and natural light. It’s essential to take regular breaks and give your eyes a break from staring at a screen.
Everyone has different productivity preferences. You might need absolute silence for work, so earplugs should do the trick if you need to block out background noise. Or, if you’re like me and you can’t function without some tunes, then spend five minutes or so creating a good home-working playlist. Alternatively, Spotify and Amazon Prime have some great ready-made playlists, or follow your friends on Spotify and see what they’re listening to for inspiration. My personal favourite is chilled soul – I love Leon Bridges, Michael Kiwanuka and The Teskey Brothers – or classical music if I need to concentrate on a project.
I always light a lovely scented candle on my desk when I’m working from home. My local co-working space, Herdwork in Kirkby Lonsdale, often has gorgeous scented candles lit too, so the space always smells amazing. Another way to enjoy a pleasant smell while working from home is to put something in the slow cooker that you can look forward to for dinner.
When I first started working from home five years ago, one of my biggest struggles was constant snacking. It’s too easy to polish off a packet of Hobnobs (not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that! If you want to demolish the Hobnobs, then #youdoyouhoney). But it’s also worth stocking the fridge with some healthy snacks that aren’t going to spike your blood sugar and cause a mid-afternoon slump or carb coma afterwards. E.g. nuts or trail mix, berries, hummus with crudités and lightly salted popcorn.
In terms of feeling good while working from home or remotely, moving your body is so important. Without a commute, you can use the time that you would usually spend driving or on the bus/train and squeeze in a quick walk. A lunchtime walk – while listening to music, a podcast or catching up with a friend – can do wonders for your headspace and productivity levels.
You should also wear whatever you find super comfy. I’d say that 99% of the time, my rule is to treat home-working as if you’re going to the office – get up, get washed, get dressed, get a coffee and crack on with work. But some days you just have to embrace the PJs/unbrushed hair look (although maybe not on the days when you have any Skype/Zoom meetings booked!)
I’d love to know some of your top tips for home or remote working! Drop me a line at Danielle@bloomincreative.co.uk or DM me on Instagram @daniellebloomincreative