I am regularly asked for some “easy tips” on how to make working from home more comfortable. A couple of days with the laptop on the sofa, or sat amongst the dishes in the kitchen is all well and good for a short period of time, but is unsustainable for both you and your family over a long period.
Obviously we all have different types of houses, circumstance and personalities so it is a little hard to be too generic when giving tips but one area that I am comfortable apples to all is that just because you are working from home, you are not stuck in your home!
You can, and should, get out each day to engage in some social contact – yes even in these COVID-19 restricted times. This could be a simple walk round the streets to pass the time of day with anyone you bump into. Take a coffee to the park, walk to the local shops for a sandwich or a snack.
A feature of many a fitness tracker is the reminder to get up and move every hour. This makes sense, but you don’t need a device to tell you really. Set yourself a simple challenge of walking up and down the stairs a couple of times every hour, or so some lunges and push ups. Nothing too strenuous as this is not a “work out” but enough for your body to do a reset from being sat at your work space hour after hour.
Walk into any conventional office and you will see advocates of the clean desk policy and others that appear to work in the midst of a bomb site yet amazingly know where everything is. The point being they have their own workspace that works for them, so working from home should be no different. There is a strong argument for decluttering your workspace and not allowing work to spill over into home, but the reality is that whatever works best for you is important. If you are trying to work in a compromised environment the chances are you will not be focussed on the work.
Offices, as a rule, invest in good lightening systems to relieve eye strain and to maintain a constant light throughout the day. This is hard to do at home without spending lots of money but you can work out the best light sources throughout the day and look to move your work space to make the most of them.
Another tip that may help is to invest in some noise cancelling headphones (they are not as expensive as you think) and if you get a bluetooth set that enable you to move around whole on the phone, or join the cool gang on your video calls, you may even be able to persuade the boss they are a necessary business expense. The point being that you can not control the external noises as well at home as you can at the office: neighbours, flatmates or family, the dog!