Working from home is now far from being uncharted waters. With at least five rounds of lockdowns under our belts (less if you are fortunately based outside of Auckland), we could now qualify as experts at it. However, this doesn’t necessarily make this go at it any easier. Acceptable, yes; easier, well, debatable.
Given that we clocked in well over a hundred days of zero cases in the community, which translated to a lockdown-free life for months on end, a refresher on WFH do’s and don’t could be helpful right about now. But then again, this isn’t our first rodeo. So we’ve gathered some tips that might be unheard of or a bit out of the box to add to the list of things that could make your WFH-life beyond bearable.
Make your bed.
This one’s a staple tip on most productivity lists, but definitely worth reiterating. When working from home, working someplace else apart from your bed is highly encouraged, but leaving your bed undone makes it slightly more tempting to slide back under the sheets. So, the first order of business should be this.
Stay sun smart.
Natural light is everything when working from home. It is thought to improve productivity and boost mood. Most people would’ve set up their workstations at home next to a window. On a good day, some would even work on their porches, balconies, or decks. It wouldn’t be surprising if we ditched the SPF while working from home because of the idea that we’d be mostly indoors, but natural light often equates to sun exposure and that’s why slip-slop-slap should be a staple during our WFH days.
Cater to the senses.
Make the whole WFH life less of a chore and more of an experience by engaging the senses. For the sense of sight, make sure your workspace is free of clutter. Or soothe your tired eyes by simply looking out the window. A few minutes of just looking up at the sky, or trees, or nature in general, is guaranteed to refresh and reset. On the audible front, switch things up by swapping your pop-playlist to something more ambient and soothing, like an hour-long playlist of coffee shop sounds.
On a related note, play with scents. Introduce a new scent in your space just to break the monotony of it all. A cheap and cheerful trick to do so is to put 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 2-3 drops of vanilla and 2 cups water in a small utensil and simmer on low. With that, you get to enjoy the amazing smell like that of cookies, minus the caloric temptation that actual cookies bring. And for the sense of touch, make sure to find the happy medium of comfy dressing at home. The goal is to feel comfortable, not necessarily cosy (at least, not during work hours).
Do something that sparks joy.
This one we’re taking from Marie Kondo’s playbook, but putting a wee spin on it. Working from home is unconventional already, and doing so in a pandemic adds a layer of complexity to it. Balance these chaotic times with a bit of joy by being intentional with the standard breaks you get in your workday. Spend 10 minutes doing something personal that sparks joy – it could be watering and talking to your plants, or going on a quick meme-break. For some, this could be used to draw or stretch, or even fluffing up your living room cushions… whatever it is, think intentionality and think joy.
Clean and tidy up.
After every workday, make it a part of your list to clean and tidy up your workspace. It could feel a bit counterproductive, considering that you’ll be situated in the same spot or space the next day anyways, but the mere action of doing so puts a full stop on your workday, which is a healthy boundary that must be set. Cleaning your space and tidying up your desk would also set you up for a win the following day so you’re not welcomed by a messy sight first thing in the morning.