With government regulations forcing people to stay inside and work remotely, employees are trying to remain as productive as they were in the workplace without their normal resources, routines and structures. So, we thought it would be useful to put together some tips and advice to help anyone trying to master the work-life balance during the current Coronavirus crisis.
It’s important to set boundaries by designating a workspace at home in order to separate your work life from your personal life. If you have a home office space then great - if not, simply designating an area with a desk or table to set up your laptop will work just as well. Studies reveal that the characteristics of our physical working environments or workspace have a significant impact on our behaviour and productivity. So, working on the sofa or on a bed should be avoided if possible as we associate these physical spaces with relaxation and are more inclined to lose focus. Whereas, sitting at a desk or table in a quiet space will see increased productivity. Research indicates that our sleep cycles and even our hormones are positively affected by natural light so try and set up near a window and let fresh air circulate throughout the day. Recreating the ‘office’ space will help you avoid home distractions and allow you to ‘leave work at the office’ at the end of the day.
Bloggers and researchers are noting that the best way to stay productive whilst working from home is to take regular breaks which should see on average a 37% increase in productivity. Many employees assume that taking regular breaks would result in achieving less work, but in fact, that is not the case. For example, if you return to work after a five-minute tea-break and then dedicate an hour to complete one particular task, you’ll be more likely to complete the task within an hour in comparison to someone who attempts to work continuously for 2-hours with no breaks, who will most likely achieve the same or less amount of work in double the time. Have a virtual coffee with a colleague or loved one to boost your morale during the day and increase your productivity!
Nearly one-third of remote workers have claimed that adhering to their normal office hours during the pandemic has helped keep structure to their day, increase their productivity and help them maintain good mental health. Keeping your workday routine and setting boundaries by establishing set hours for work and relaxation will prove to be beneficial for your mental wellness.
For a lot of people, staying in their pyjamas all day is an appealing prospect, yet this doesn’t make for a productive mindset. Having a shower and getting dressed will improve your state of mind and psychologically prepare you for the working day ahead. By changing out of the clothes you associate with sleep and rest, even into jeans (not necessarily a shirt) will contribute massively to a positive and productive mindset.
Take a 10-minute stroll during your lunch break or after a stressful meeting. A change of scene often helps us mentally by removing us from a stressful and distracting environment and allowing us to come back to work with a clear head and greater focus. Although gyms and leisure centres are closed, you're still able to keep active by making use of your garden or outdoor green spaces nearby. If you’d prefer to stay inside, there’s plenty of online workout videos you can follow to stay healthy and keep up your daily activity.
Maintaining the work-life balance is one of the most difficult challenges we all face whilst working from home. By keeping organised such as creating filing systems, schedules and to-do lists whether this be handwritten or digitally, will ensure you achieve set goals and targets per day.
As concerns regarding mental health continue to rise, it’s important that we stay connected with colleagues, friends and family digitally to avoid loneliness and spread positivity. Many employees have stressed that the disconnected or lonely nature of remote work bears a massive contrast to the social hub or buzz you’ll find in an office environment. But once you’re engaged in your business, attending meetings using video conferencing and making a proactive effort to create your own digital business community, the isolation is typically overcome. If your job role doesn’t require a lot of phone calls or Zoom meetings then try and keep yourself involved in the conversation by chatting to colleagues or loved ones throughout the week to help maintain a positive mindset.
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