With lockdown in full swing, the instructions to remain cooped up inside are challenging. Especially for those having to make adjustments to working from home. Not only is the daily commute slightly shorter – probably a few steps from your bedroom to your kitchen table – but it brings in new challenges too. Perhaps the idea of kids running round, partner’s annoying you and pets that need to be cared for sounds familiar? In light of these strange times and the need to feel proactive, productive and positive, we think we’re all need a tip or two. So, in this post we’ll be discussing how you can not only improve productivity at home, but also change your general mind-set when it comes to WFH life. We’ve listened to experts via podcasts, have worked with researchers such as Eleftheria Karipidi & watched Youtube vids, asked around and also compiled a few of our favourite tips, so we hope you enjoy.
Amy catching up on emails. Shot for Yun Berlin
For an optimum work flow…
- Have a carafe / bottle of water on your desk. Not only does the sight of water subconsciously calm you down but it promotes you to drink more water through-out the day. This also helps energy levels and clears the mind, in addition to of course keeping you hydrated.
- Swap your daily commute time (e.g. 30 mins, 40 mins) for a mood boosting activity both pre & post work. This can be anything you find therapeutic or enjoyable. The possibilities are endless but what about reading, watching a show, cooking a more extravagant breakfast, going for a jog / walk or a quick HIIT session.
- Make sure the area you are working in is clean and tidy. A tidy space aids a more productive work flow and can help you feel less stressed.
- Know when to take a break. If you’ve been powering through for hours without moving your eyes away from the screen, then pause for 5 minutes. Move your eyes around away from a screen, stretch your legs, make a cuppa and enjoy 5 minutes of calm. Avoid checking messages on your phone. Remember working 24/7 isn’t a sustainable work ethic.
Our work from home product suggestions
- Don’t get into the habit of being unproductive. If you notice you’re slipping into bad habits, try to curb them fast. If you find you’re procrastinating, remember procrastination is a fear of failure.
- Work out when you are most productive – are you an early morning person? or an afternoon power person? Clock the time you are more efficient and do your most challenging work during this time.
- Set yourself a daily work timeline and stick to it. E.g 10 – 6pm with two 30 minute breaks. This will help you feel like you’ve got routine.
- Give your work space some TLC. Research suggests that it should feel open, or unrestrictive. So try and place your desk opposite or adjacent to a window. The gentle influx of sound and light can aid a positive work flow. If this is not possible and your desk needs to face a wall, hang a mirror above and it will create the same effect.
If you’re used to working in a team…
- Anxiety is a big fear for people working from home, especially if you live by yourself. Stay connected and combat loneliness by speaking to your regular team people as much as possible – even if it’s for an informal chat.
- Speak with others from within your community industry e.g. direct messages on instagram. Right now people are in the same position and are open to talking to others!
- Put on a radio, tv show, or podcast in the background as the sound of voices can be comforting.
Athina in her home office whilst in lockdown. Using plants creates a calming presence and makes us more productive according to scientific research amongst students.
If you’re becoming unproductive …
- Have a dedicated work space – ideally with a door that closes but if not possible, somewhere private.
- Dedicate times to responding to emails. This is a really important one! By having dedicated 30 minute or 1 hour sessions for email replying, you will get so much more work done rather than answering them as they come in. Game changer!
- Get up early and start early. By the late morning you’ll have a great sense of achievement and will feel much more motivated throughout the day.
- Add more plants – there is a lot of scientific research to show that people who worked in places surrounded by more green were not only calmer, but more productive too.
- Add something ‘red’ to your work station. This is the first colour the naked human eye sees and therefore stimulates the brain upon sight of it. Try a red mug, pen pot or flower for a quick boost!
- Work in the same space daily, as this creates continuity, structure & pattern.
Photos by Theo McInnes & YUN Berlin.